On “Future Days”

Im not gonna front like I always gave a shit about Can. Everyone told me to get into Tago Mago, I thought it was boring, I left them alone for a while. Weirdly enough, I ended up really digging Monster Movie, but I figured it was just a first-album fluke. (Isnt it funny how we believe completely unfounded ideas like that?) Im amazed at how long it took for someone to tell me that Cans records were all completely different and that they were basically the Miles Davis of rock, birthing and furthering countless subgenres during their multiple creative bursts. Future Days is their In a Silent Way, both conceptually and sonically. Conceptually, its a record in which a wild and attention-grabbing band attempts to blend into the scenery, but makes something even more interesting in the process. Sonically, its groovy and kinetic enough to get you dancing, but tame and unobtrusive enough to work as the soundtrack to a dinner party. This is serious mood music, the kind that will sound life-altering if you put it on between 6pm and 4am, and still pretty great at any other time. But most importantly, its a very personal experience. Youll find your own scenery that you associate with it. (For me, its the forest next to Hogwarts, a nice mist on the ground, around midnight. No giant spiders tho.) It seems to be this kind of line-riding music – music that works both actively and passively – that leaves the most room for the listener to bring their own experience and taste to the table. If you like Enya, this might be the funkiest album you own, and if you like Gil Scott-Heron, it might be the tamest. Its pleasant, but never boring; its a little like talking to a stranger on a train, where youre so lost in conversation you forget to ask their name before they get to their stop. After they leave, all youve got is the memory of that transcript, and youre left to your own devices to fill them in.

Ray Begleiter