314: Bored

It has become one of my life goals now to have an impromptu Pants-Off Dance-Off at least once.  The song those two are dancing to is this one by Taddy Porter.  I can't hear that song without wanting to take off my pants and dance my ass off.  And the louder I play it, the stronger that urge becomes. :)

So, ZZ Top's newest album, La Futura, came out a few days ago, and it's good.  It's good, but it's nothing out of the ordinary.  ZZ Top has always been very consistent with their style and their quality of music, and this album continues both of those trends.  You'll find exactly the same types of songs as you've always heard from them, but in my opinion the album is the best one they've come out with in the last decade or two.  It's perfect for fans of blues-rock or ZZ Top, and you definitely won't be disappointed by it.  But if you're saving your money for only the best or most unique albums out there, you can skip this one without missing out on anything.

Here are the good things about it:  You'll notice immediately that the sound is really deep, really blasting in the low frequencies.  This partly comes from Billy Gibbons' guitar, which as fans know seems to be forever stuck in the "rhythm" setting (he turns the bridge pickup off to make it sound all deep-like).  But this is also because being a three-man band means Dusty Hill's bass gets to be featured really strongly.  The reason why this deepness is a good thing is because it's not done at the cost of the higher frequencies.  They somehow manage to make it deep, while still sounding totally full, like a totally complete spectrum of frequencies.  And the lead guitar solos and harmonicas act as nice high-frequency breaks between all the lows.  Basically what this means is: the production on this album is great.  They finally got it perfect after struggling with it for so long, and it's the reason why this album is better than their last few.  The other thing you'll notice is how deep and raspy Billy Gibbons' voice has gotten over the years.  It's been doing that very gradually, a little more on each album as he gets older, but it makes his voice sound better and better each time.  He really sounds like an old bluesman who's smoked one or two or 8,000 too many cigarettes, and it's really great.  And finally, the songs on the album are all good.  Not great, not bad, but all consistently good.  Entertaining album from start to finish.

The only bad thing about the album is that it's really exactly the same as all the rest of their albums.  The great production quality is the only thing that sets it apart from all the rest.  You won't be hearing anything you haven't heard before, which for a lot of people means this album is quite skippable.  And although the songs are all good, there's nothing on the album that really stands out as great.  I'd give the album a 5 or 6/10 for that reason.  It's a very good, average album, that only beats out their previous ones (which were all about 4 or 5/10) because of the great production.  You won't be disappointed if you buy it, and you won't be missing anything if you skip it.

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