m-flo – Future Is Wow Review

m-flo-Future Is Wow Cover

Release Date: March 26, 2014

Track Listing

  1. Discovery of Wow
  2. Spark feat. Ruby Prophet
  3. Go Crazy feat. SOL (from BIG BANG)
  4. She Got Me
  5. Flashback to 21st Century
  6. My Way feat. Ayumi Hamasaki
  7. Young & Restless feat. MNDR
  8. Welcome To Bassline
  9. 10x Larger
  10. Fly feat. Yoohei Kawakami
  11. Irony feat. Daoko
  12. D.W.M. feat. Reina Washio (Flower/E-girls)
  13. Safe & Sound
  14. Own The Sky feat. Bella Blue
  15. Show You More feat. Matt Cab
  16. Find a Way feat. Maco
  17. 1nce Aga1n

Review

FUTURE IS WOW is m-flo’s eighth studio album, and it arrives almost exactly one year after their last studio album NEVEN.

This is the third post “loves…” era album, and the sound continues to dive deeper and deeper into electronic dance music. Much of this is influenced by what Taku Takahashi has been spinning as part of his DJ sets.

Those who have followed m-flo after COSMICOLOR have probably noticed that the radio-friendly tunes have disappeared into the ether of days gone by. Whether that upsets you or not depends on your view of EDM.

But if you have become accustomed to the shift in sound over the previous two albums, then FUTURE IS WOW should not shock the system. It’s a lot more of the same.

The only change from the past 2 years is that the guest vocalists are named in the songs. That’s probably not a big deal breaker, but it’s nice to know whom m-flo is collaborating with.

This year’s list of collaborators is diverse, including some well-known and perhaps unknown artists. Unlike previous collaborations, guesting artists don’t necessarily bring their flavour to the songs they are on.

They just sound like they’re singing over a dance beat produced by Taku with no real contribution to the track other than their vocals. It felt more like a melding of two worlds into a cohesive unit in the past.

The series of pairings on FUTURE IS WOW is still fairly decent, though. The funniest and perhaps most hypocritical is Ayumi Hamasaki’s appearance on an m-flo song.

From what I recall, Taku Takahashi went a giant tirade against modern J-Pop in 2012 and yet here is one of the icons of the J-Pop he rallied so hard against on a track he produced. And let’s not forget that Square One also featured a lot of acts who were from the world of J-Pop as well.

What’s the deal with that?

Here’s a little secret, though. The song is a big splatter of weak sauce amongst a collection of songs that better it. So you’re not going to be missing much if you skip it. Just saying.

The songs you should be paying attention to are those with names you may not recognize or are familiar with. These include collaborations with Ruby Prophet (Spark), MNDR (Young & Restless), Yoohei Kawakami (FLY) and Bella Blue (Own The Sky).

If just m-flo is what you are looking for, you may be a little out of luck. These few tracks where it’s just VERBAL spitting rhymes over a Taku beat. The best song is one that doesn’t feature anyone. (Welcome to the Bassline) It’s just a straight-up instrumental that lives up to its name.

The interludes on this album indicate that there’s some sort of concept about the way music was consumed in the 21st century and how it compares to the future in which this album is based. If you’re interested in that stuff, give them a listen. Otherwise, it’s just skipping over filler.

It’s hard to place this within the hierarchy of current m-flo albums. It’s not exactly advancement on the last 2 albums by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, there are some fairly good tracks despite that.  Whether you pick this up will depend on whether you like the new direction m-flo has set for themselves and/or if you are a hardcore fan who needs to have every single thing they have ever made.

Perhaps try before you buy is the best way to go about this offering from m-flo.

About Greg 327 Articles
Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.