Album Review: AM – Future Sons & Daughters

by Kara Murphy on March 25, 2010

Chances are, if you’re a music aficionado, you’ve already heard of AM. If not directly from a friend or by way of online channels such as Lala and thesixtyone, where he currently enjoys a strong presence, then you’ve most likely been exposed through a more traditional medium.

This is due to the fact that every single track off of his 2006 full-length debut, Troubled Times, has appeared in either a film or TV show. Thus far, the Tulsa-born, New Orleans-bred singer-songwriter has been savvy enough to capitalize on the momentum of such a promising start. AIR has asked him to open for them on their North American tour and when that concludes, he’ll embark on a stint with none other than Charlotte Gainsbourg as she also treks through the U.S. and Canada.

So what can be said about his latest effort, Future Sons & Daughters? A quick visit to his website displays several iterations of his biography where he boldly attributes his sound to heavyweight influences harkening back to the height of late ‘60s and early ‘70s including Curtis Mayfield, Jorge Ben, and, of course, The Beatles. The result is an ethereal soundscape that deftly combines psychedelic rock, tropicalia, and a bit of disco mixed in with an unmistakable modern twist.

Future Sons & Daughters is a record that provides a pleasant listening experience but, unfortunately, not a particularly memorable one. There’s nothing here that grabs your attention and resonates long after you’ve moved on to something else. I’ve listened to this album three times and the only track that I can vaguely recall is the poppy, punchy single “The Other Side.”

This doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. While the lyrics can be sappy and a bit insipid, the production is top-notch, his voice dreamily oscillates along to the multi-layered textures of every track save for one instrumental, and, in the end, you’re left with a warm, peaceful feeling akin to completing a session of yoga. I could easily see myself throwing this album on in the background while hosting a springtime barbeque. Uplifting and inoffensive, I envision it as an album that could effortlessly establish the ideal mood for a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere.

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AM will be opening for AIR at the FOX theater in Oakland this Friday, March 26th.

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