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Album Review: Future Past Life by STRFKR

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STRFKR is an American indie rock/pop band from Oregon. While I was a huge fan of their 2013 album, Miracle Mile, none of their other albums have really appealed to me. Miracle Mile really pushed STRFKR into the spotlight, and they also gathered some attention on their 2016 album, Being No One, Going Nowhere. Besides a few other "vault" releases, a remix album, and a live album, Future Past Life is their newest album in nearly four years.

The first track off the album is Dear Stranger. If you are a regular viewer of my blog, you know how I feel about synthpop. The deep, dark, and eerie synth opening up the album just intrigues and captures my attention. While it doesn't last long, it does end up coming back towards the end of the track. Despite moving into more synth-style music, they still keep that lo-fi indie music vibe going. This is definitely one of my favorite opening tracks from them.

After that, we are brought back to the more indie rock style with Never The Same. This is a pretty short track, but you really get the lo-fi sound with this track. It's minimal in instrumentation with mostly guitar and drums being the highlight of the track. You have the occasional synth droning in the background. The singer keeps on repeating "What I don't know about love," throughout the chorus, which could mean that his partner is keeping a secret. However, he feels better not knowing about the secret.

Deep Dream is another indie rock and pop-infused track. Of course, you have your regular rock instrumentation (drums, bass, guitar), but I enjoy how they sprinkle in the synth notes every now and then to give it more of a pop punch. However, I am getting some M83 vibes with the synth during the chorus.

Second Hand is your normal, glitzy synthpop track. It sounds like it would be a synth dance/love song from the 80s. The chorus throws a quick joke to those that read WebMD whenever they're feeling sick. WebMD is known for giving incorrect diagnoses and will say that you probably have cancer, even if it is just the common cold. However, the track is talking about a relationship that ended or is about to end, and he doesn't know how he feels about it.

Better Together is another short track with an acoustic feel to it with just a guitar. I enjoy the harmonies sang throughout the track, but definitely not one of my favorites off of the album. Could use a little more flavor to it in my opinion.

Next, we have Budapest which features Shy Boys. This is another slower, pop-like track off of the album. On this track, the singer knows that the relationship is going to end, but he just is enjoying what he has right now.

Palm Reader is another short acoustic track off of the album. It's actually the shortest track off the album, just under two minutes. There's really not much with this track either, it seems like it would be the perfect interlude in the album.

Sea Foam is a catchy synthpop track on the album. The pre-chorus where they say "Everybody knows it," just builds up to the intensity of the chorus. The whole jam session toward the middle of the track really adds to the hype of the track.

Pink Noise opens up with what sounds like some radio sounds, then the track finally starts after about ten seconds. This definitely isn't my favorite track and probably my least favorite track. You have your synth note that is repeated throughout the first half of the track. You also have some inaudible hums during the chorus. During the middle, you get some 'scooping' sounds from what seems like a guitar, or a synth effect.

The last track and longest track from the album is Cold Comfort. It's mostly another acoustic track and it seems like they are adding a lot of acoustic tracks to their catalog. Also, there aren't much lyrics, it's mostly an instrumental track since most of the lyrics just sound like backing vocals on here. Halfway through the track, it changes to this droning note that will continue for the rest of the track. It turns into more of an ambient-style track at this point.

Overall, it is an okay album. There are some catchy tunes, but several of the later tracks failed to keep my attention. I probably won't be listening to this album that often, but I will definitely revisit it if I am ever in an indie pop/synthpop mood.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: Dear Stranger, Second Hand, Sea Foam

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