Future Radio’s debut album Freedom would be a solid offering but for a lack of attention to detail and quality control.
A rock-opera revolution in eight acts, Freedom dreams of wholesale societal change, tracking the journey from chaos to a Utopian ideal. With the world on the brink of massive change it’s only natural that the music industry has become saturated with artists trying to tear down the fabric of our society which, in turn, means they have to rise to the challenge in a big way to be noticed, something the album almost does well.
With a well-established identity and a clear message, Future Radio’s music is undeniably catchy and their overall sound is quietly intriguing. Although it’s not the most sonically dynamic album, apart from a surprisingly welcome moment of EDM in “DOI”, there’s enough bite to keep you engaged and entertained – the intro riff to “Fire With Fire” is instantly infectious.
Where the album falls flat, though, is in the chapter breaks between songs. All but two of these breaks take the form of monologues or speeches, including an excerpt from the American Declaration of Independence in “Act 4 – Declaration”.
The concept is solid. Prologues help contextualise the songs and keep the narrative moving at a healthy pace but in this case, unfortunately, the execution is lacking. Each monologue is reminiscent of English-dubbed foreign soap-operas – with clichés and stilted performances seemingly the order of the day – which ultimately detracts from the album as a whole. Without the prologues, Freedom would be a terrific album. As interesting and sensible as the concept is, the inserts do more harm than good in an album that’s more than capable of telling the story without them.