3 out of 5 Stars!
Built For The Future is (from what I gather) a new band from Texas, although the word “band” doesn’t quite seem appropriate considering the act consists of two members, vocalist Kenny Bissett and multi-instrumentalist Patric Farrell, with a handful of guest performers.
For the most part, the music is rather pleasant, melodic, and well-performed with high-quality production. The majority of the tracks (including “Lightchaser,” “Burning Daylight,” “The Siren Will,” and “Radiowave”) seem to be more straightforward AOR songs. heavily laced with electronic percussion, and with only the merest hint of Prog-Rock, typically based on much of the keyboard instrumentation, whereas others (“Running Man,” “Samsara,” and the three-part “The Great Escape,” most notably) contain more than a touch of Progressive Rock in, what I consider, the sound of the most recent Yes albums. Or to be more accurate, the “Yes offshoot” bands, such as Conspiracy and Circa: and White, even World Trade. And truth be told, that’s where the main problem lies with much of the material here.
After initially listening to this release, I was not shocked in the least to learn that Billy Sherwood was involved in some capacity with the production/mixing of this album. Indeed, his stamp seems to be all over this release. Not that there’s anything wrong with Sherwood (who is quite talented in my book), but when it comes to those previously mentioned “Yes offshoot” bands, even World Trade, the vocals always seem to be rather emotionless. Oh, the singing is perfectly in tune, the harmonies are always commendable, but they generally lack any trace of raw emotion. “Singing by the numbers,” I call it. Way too slick, too smoothed over, too…well, sorry to say, gutless. This is, unfortunately, the one thing that Sherwood projects generally seem to have in common. And for me, this is the main aspect of the music that brings down this release at least a half-star.
Therefore, since the material is more often than not better than average—although I would have preferred more variety in the tunes and less of an “electronic” feel to much of the instrumentation—I have to rate it 3 Stars, but the album likely would have been closer to 3.5 Stars if the band possessed a singer with more punch, more passion, more attitude in his performance instead of the “sing by the numbers” approach that infects many Sherwood-related (or Sherwood-inspired) projects.