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Various Artists – futurePOP 2.0

Various Artists - futurePOP 2.0   

EMI, 2009
[rating:6/10]

The second in what we’re sure will be a long running series, Future Pop 2.0’s premise is to capture what’s hot in pop (did I just say that) and electronica and compile these with a few remixes in a capture all two disc set.

All the big hitters are here and the playlist runs like a who’s who of popular music: Empire of the Sun, The Presets, MGMT, Cut Copy, Pnau, Santogold, CSS… you get the idea. The first disc starts out safe enough, how can you not like The Tings Tings? (answers on a postcard to the usual address). But a couple of tracks in and not for the last time we do our first Scooby double take — Cindy Lauper! Hardly cutting edge but fair enough everything is cyclical and all that, so she’s probably due her next flogging, figuratively of course.

It’s all a bit too saccharine sweet though. We can imagine our kid sister going mad over this, and she can certainly keep Sam Sparro, but this is definitely top heavy on the pop. Even the inclusion The Cardigan’s “Erase/Rewind” has been given the commercial remix treatment. Maybe we’re listening to the music in the wrong format, the girls on the bus this morning seemed to think that it sounds better out of the speakers on their phones, so possibly we’re missing the point.

Disc two is like the cooler older brother kicking off with a bit of Luke Steel’s craziness with Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream”. There’s not much to fault here and the inclusion of both Neon Neon’s “Left Her On Alderaan” and Ladyton’s “Ghosts” is inspired and certainly cleans the palette after some of the earlier tracks.

Future Pop 2.0 is never going to be a world beater, it does play to the middle ground mostly, but it is a pretty solid compilation if this is your type of thing. Basically if you’re after some advice — keep disc two and give disc one to your kid sister.

Garry Thomson

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