Albums to watch

The Far Field

Future Islands

The Far Field

Fifth album from the Baltimore synthpop group fronted by Samuel T. Herring

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  1. 10.0 |   State

    They stuck to their guns and thankfully have given us one of the best albums of the last five years
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  2. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Singles was designed to amp up the pop hooks and reach people wherever they may be, logistically and emotionally. Having conquered that challenge, The Far Field attempts to hit some of those same notes but with more nuance and more old-fashioned studio polish
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  3. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    Critics may balk at how safe The Far Field sounds, when you take into account some of the creative risks Future Islands previously took, but when you've come such a long way and found something good, why not just follow that template and get better?
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  4. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The more time I spend with this album, the more I suspect that its creators may be in the process of securing their place in the lineage of the Great American Rock Band
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  5. 8.0 |   Q

    They’ve resisted any temptation to re-invent themselves here. Print edition only

  6. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Future Islands still sound thrillingly marginal. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   NME

    ‘The Far Field’ might be an album that consolidates what Future Islands have got, which is considerably more than a few years back. Frankly, no band deserves it more
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  8. 8.0 |   DIY

    It moves between trauma and joy in the same breath
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  9. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    The addition of live drums to the mix, absent from previous records, gives The Far Field a larger physical presence than we are used to, and that’s a good thing
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  10. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    The cult band prove they deserve their wider recognition on consistent fifth album
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  11. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    The Far Field is a cathartic listen, an album that wears its emotions on its sleeve
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  12. 8.0 |   The 405

    The Far Field is a triumph – it shows Future Islands refusing to buckle under newfound pressure, and instead creating another stellar record to add to their burgeoning catalogue
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  13. 8.0 |   Paste Magazine

    Longtime listeners may recognize in this new album as a solid continuation what Future Islands have been selling for over a decade
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  14. 8.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The Far Field is carried by light catharsis, diffused and mild-tempered fun, virtuosic vocal delivery, and steel-clean production
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  15. 8.0 |   The Music

    A consistent, high-calibre collection of songs
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  16. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Another lovely Future Islands record that’s brimming with as much charm as their best work
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  17. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Another accomplished, engaging set
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  18. 8.0 |   music OMH

    Ram-packed full of top-notch melodic synth-pop – a triumph from start to finish
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  19. 7.9 |   Earbuddy

    Future Islands deliver another solid effort with The Far Field
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  20. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    Five albums in, Future Islands are beyond reinvention. Instead, they tap into the emotion that runs deep under their synth-pop, and the results are more cathartic and devastating than ever
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  21. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    While there isn't a song as massive as "Seasons (Waiting on You)," Future Islands haven't plateaued; they've managed a follow-up record that can look their best work in the eye

  22. 7.5 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    “Formulaic” isn’t usually a compliment, but why complain when the formula is this solid?
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  23. 7.0 |   The Quietus

    The Far Field isn’t explosive in its emotion, nor is it wallowing; it’s just constantly rolling forward, the wheels propelling Future Islands onward to the horizon
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  24. 7.0 |   The Digital Fix

    A solid follow up to the world conquering Singles
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  25. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The results are comically over-the-top but still warmly moving
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  26. 7.0 |   All Music

    It's a shame that the band and Congleton felt the need to pretty things up, to make them sound more sophisticated and domesticated. It means that despite Herring's bravura performance, the album feels like a watered-down and lesser version of Singles
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  27. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    If Future Islands have created a formula, they have yet to exhaust its creative potential
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  28. 7.0 |   Clash

    ‘The Far Field’ seems to fall victim to its own history. In failing to move beyond their catalogue Future Islands can at times feel as though they are simply treading water, honing a template rather than establishing something new
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  29. 6.7 |   Consequence Of Sound

    A reminder of how skilled Future Islands can be when everything locks into place, and even if it never reaches the highs of Singles, it more than holds its own
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  30. 6.7 |   Gig Soup

    While Future Islands' 'The Far Field' may not cover much diverse musical ground, Samuel T. Herring's brutal, trembling honesty breathes life into the tragedy behind the production
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  31. 6.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Something of a retreat, a withdrawal into the melancholy of the bedrock of the group’s howled longing
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  32. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The Far Field offers the band's quintessential mix of cool synths and melodramatic vocals
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  33. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Songs about unrequited love will never go out of style, but The Far Field would be better served by occasionally taking the road less traveled
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  34. 6.0 |   Uncut

    High-beam intensity and near relentless drive. Print edition only

  35. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    It’s good stuff – very good, in fact, though just not defining. Then again, it doesn’t need to be
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  36. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    There’s not a great deal of variety, though the lovers’ rock of Candles creates some breathing space
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  37. 5.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Why does Future Islands have to coast in this Xanax-induced lullaby land?
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  38. 4.0 |   The FT

    A classy cameo from Debbie Harry on “Shadows” only serves to highlight the shortcomings of Herring’s mannerisms all the more
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Future Islands: The Far Field

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  • 8. Ancient Water £0.89
  • 9. Candles £0.89
  • 10. Day Glow Fire £0.89
  • 11. Shadows £0.89
  • 12. Black Rose £0.89
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