La Futura review by ZZ Top

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  • Released: Sep 10, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (12 votes)
ZZ Top: La Futura

Sound — 9
It's the classic ZZ Top sound updated for the modern era. With all the same raw blue-rock/southern rock, old fashioned rock-and-roll. That said this album has a gritty and raw sound to it, it seems to have higher production values than their older albums, (In fact when I first put the record on I thought my CD was defective due to the grittiness of the opener "I Gotsta Get Paid") but is still with compressed high level production from Rick Rubin, aka the "loudness war" general. The guitar has the signature Reverend Willie G crunch. Often copied but never duplicated. Dusty Hill's bass has that same lead sound to it that gives ZZ Top their signature sound. Frank Beard seems to have remembered how to play without a sequencer again. It appears that Rick has given this album the same treatment as albums such as Metallica's "Death Magnetic", personally I've never had a real beef with the increased volume but the compression can be annoying.

Lyrics — 8
It's ZZ Top lyrics at their usual, on this record they appear to have followed the normal themes cars, girls, sexual innuendos, love. what's to be said about ZZ Top lyrics that hasn't been said before. While not the most lyrical of bands, they convey their point quite well. Billy Gibbons has the same gravel he's had on all their albums. He has one of the most unique voices in rock. He has this laid back characteristic to his vocal delivery, it just oozes cool. The lyrics fit the songs quite well, "I Gotsta Get Paid" in particular has this rasp to the vocals that fits well with the fuzz tone of the guitar. In "Flyin' High" the lyrics in the chorus seem to float above the chords. ZZ Top has always been a band that weaves the lyrics into the fiber of the songs.

Overall Impression — 10
Considering this album has been out for a little while I was surprised that it hadn't been reviewed. The Texas blues-rockers have returned to the sound of their earlier albums such as "Tres Hombres" and "Degello", (which in my opinion were their peak, don't get me wrong I still love "Eliminator" and the drum machine laden "Afterburner", but I don't count those as the traditional Top blues-rock/southern rock sound), It's a real return to their roots with a modern sound hence the title "La Futura". My favorite tracks would be "I Gotsta To Get Paid" that fuzz tone is so awesome, "Consumption" has a great riff throughout, with little lead licks interspersed throughout, the ballad "Over You" reminds me of "Rough Boy" with out the 80's production, it does however have the pinch harmonic laden solo, "Heartache In Blue" is probably the most outright bluesy song on the album, complete with harmonica. "Flyin' High" is as anthemetic as some of their previous songs, such as "Gimmie All Your Lovin'" or "Got Me Under Pressure". I definitely recommend this album to any ZZ Top fan or fan of Southern/Blues-Rock. One of my favorites of 2012.

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3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Goldie Bush
    Great review Kernel. Pretty underrated album in my opinion.
    Thanks!, first contribution ever, I was shocked that there was no review for this album and felt something needed to be done about it.