Our leaders tell us the world is a dangerous, violent place. The television warns us that armies of our enemies amass to challenge our freedom. From nearly every corner the message is one of fear and horror, telling us to be afraid, always frightened. Now, more than ever we need Future Music! Over the 11 tracks on Beyond the Infinite, their thirteenth album, FM architect Robert Barsky (lyrics, vocals, guitar, e-drums) and ace axe-man Rich Arbaugh (guitar, bass, harmony vocals) offer a much-needed infusion of hope and love, reminding us that the world offers an infinite number of possibilities.
Opening with Finger Painting, Future Music channels late 1960s Kinks with a hot guitar lick and lyrics steeped in optimism, pointing out that the key to overcoming darkness resides within us. We only need to look for it. The positive vibrations flow free and fast over this entire album and the exhortations of love abound. The superlative Grey to Colour (which features a goose-bump inducing intonation of the phrase “rock & roll,” giving what some consider a cliché new vitality), shows the power of love to change everything for the better. On the near-giddy-with-happiness Cycle of Emotion the singer identifies the source of his purpose simply as “looking for a little love, find it every time we touch.”
Even when addressing the complexity of modern life, Barsky’s words never fall prey to pessimism. On Schematism, a Lennonesque musing on the human condition driven by a smoking slow-burn guitar part, we are reminded that no matter how evil the machinations our leaders employ or how bad things may appear “everything returns to balance, everything returns home.” The madness and distraction that is the modern media is the subject of Tall Poppy Syndrome, in which we are chided, gently, about our fondness for watching others fall. FM reminds us that “It’s the tall poppy syndrome, it’s been around since day one. Says something about our mind set, and how we allow it.”
The two brightest jewels among the finery of this album greet the listener as the album’s final tracks. Reject Nothing acknowledges that in a time were “everybody’s known despair, known emptiness” we are all looking for answers to escaping the downward cycle and the key is not to limit where we look for answers. We need to look inside and find the hope that is within each of us. FM entreats that we look for that hope, for “Hope creates a light that can be seen, reject nothing, open possibilities.”
Avoiding the Void is a smoldering rocker that only sounds better the louder it is played. Over Arbaugh’s driving guitar Barsky warns what awaits those who buy into the easy answer, instant-gratification promises of those who polarize our society. Our leaders offer specious promises that once you accept “you’ll be negated, cancelled, annulled, invalidated, lured into a realm beyond the mind.” What can one do? Follow FM’s example by avoiding the void and not buy into the negative outlook so pervasive today. Let’s look for alternatives, look for hope and love to help get over this hump and climb out of the darkness and back into the light. The soundtrack for the journey is right here and will help us go Beyond the Infinite.
Robert Grover, 11/11/07
This file is sold by music, an independent seller on Tradebit.