Sound: So, album number four from The Futureheads is out, and it is definitely their best offering thus far, from opening track The Chaos to closer Jupiter, the album is packed with a variety of styles of music and energy. Their trademark energetic punk-rock is ever present as ever, and a capella harmonies also frequent the album. A newer style for The Futureheads also graces the album in the song The Chaos where the style becomes more recognisable as metal than rock.
There are several immediate stand-outs on the album including the album title track The Chaos, the first single Heartbeat Song, The Connector and 6-minute album closer Jupiter. However, amidst these songs are some that drift by or blend inconspicuously into the next; Stop The Noise and I Can Do That spring to my mind. However, these duller songs are very much over-ruled by the better, more dramatic, energetic songs which are littered throughout. // 9
Lyrics: Vocally, The Futureheads are probably one of the more diverse bands out there, with all members participating in a capella sections in the songs, particularly the ending of Jupiter. Also, with two main singers the songs seem all the more diverse as Barry will take the lead for Struck Dumb and Heartbeat Song, and then Ross will take over for Dart On The Map.
Lyrically the album is sound and strong, if by no means exceptional, with songs touching on a variety of topics; love, war, politics. As can be seen, no new ground being made or boundaries pushed, but certainly enjoyable nonetheless. // 7
Overall Impression: The Chaos takes the style of The Futureheads debut release, but with the studio budget of This Is Not The World. It is distinctly Futureheads and their style, without simply being the same album released again under a different name, either on purpose or as a sufferer of Second (or in this case fourth) Album Syndrome, with stunning songs that should gain The Futureheads some publicity and success, and when listening to the complexity of riffs and drum patterns in songs like The Connector and (I know I've gone on about it) Jupiter. There is a moment in Jupiter which sounds strikingly like Edvard Grieg's In The Hall Of The Mountain King, which to me, is no bad thing.
All in all, The Chaos is a very good album from The Futureheads and should gain them plenty of new fans. While not being an album where every track is a winner, nor one which makes massive changes to the bands style or sound, The Chaos is a strong album, with a generous smattering of impressive songs. The only two major problems with the album are thus; the feeling that The Futureheads and The Chaos take themselves a little too seriously, and a meagre 11 songs seems almost stingy from a band that aren't exactly a worldwide phenomenon ...yet, but we don't know what the future holds for talented, younger bands like The Futureheads. Nothing's impossible. // 8