Future Islands - 'As Long As You Are'

7/10

Having already proven their worth with a bold and succinct collection of records over the last decade or so, Future Islands have always found themselves being compared to the sounds of the past. While they are obviously heavily influenced by the new wave and post-punk sounds of the 1980s, they kind of became an guilty pleasure on the new music circuit, with a mixture of acclaim and nostalgia running through their identity. But recently, they have begun to approach their aesthetic with a more contemporary angle and so return with their sixth full-length 'As Long As You Are', a release that brings their direction firmly up-to-date.

While there are still plenty of nods to the glittery 80s vibe, such as their soaring synth work and Bowie-esque intentions throughout, there is something distinctly fresh about this new collection. From the very start, 'As Long As You Are' sees itself as a more diverse and adventurous album, with the band taking more risks than they are known for, and giving ourselves more surprises than we were expecting. While its opener 'Glada' certainly sets a scene for a more sombre and solemn collection, it quickly picks up the pace and euphoric atmosphere to create one of their most confident offerings to date.

It may not be their most prized or passionate collection, but 'As Long As You Are' sees the group in a fully renewed spirit, taking on the challenge to create something so vibrant and identifiable so far into their career. It certainly feels like this is far from the last we will hear from them, and makes for a wonderfully bright return.

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