Futureperfect is VNV Nation's 4th LP. After much confusion, it was released on 28 January 2002. The first single, Genesis, was released on 3 October 2001 in Europe (by Dependent Records) and 11 November 2001 in North America (by Metropolis Records). The next single, Beloved, will be released two weeks later, by Dependent in Europe, and hopefully by Metropolis too, so those of us in the States don't have to pay for the import.
5. Holding On
Ronan wrote an essay on the themes of the album, which can be found at http://vnvnation.com/html/futurep.htm . It's too long to print here, but I will summarize:
The dreams of the future that we had at the beginning of this century have failed. Instead of remaking the world to suit us, we are being remade to suit the world. The promises of science lured us away from the need for spirituality, and the modern world has done away with such concepts as selflessness, honor, chivalry, fortitude, and courage. In all this, we have lost our way. The youth, who once held all of the promise of the coming years, are now completely apathetic. Futureperfect aims to project an image of what could have been and what can still be, if we are willing to work for it.
And now, my analysis of the album!
(I'm going on the assumption that this the intro of their live show, as it changed since last time I saw them.)
"This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone."
Behind this, is a church choir, and after it, it is (I think, I don't see why it would say something else) repeated in German and French. This sets the tone for the entire album. I don't know if it will be in the album version, but after the monologue, there is countdown like on old films, with four stops in it. At each one of those, one word of the album's motto is flashed just long enough to read:
Make. Your. Future. Perfect.
VNV has a habit of writing songs that express me better than I ever could. It is about making your own life happy, and having the strength to be yourself, instead of making compromises for other. When I first heard it, I was losing a very good friend, because I refuse to be other than who I am.
I can see that you're losing me,
I always tried to keep myself tied to this world.
Though I know where this could take me,
No tears, no sympathy.
I can see that you're losing me,
But I must be that which I am.
Though I know where this is leading,
No tears, no sympathy.
A very wonderful song. I fell in love with it from the name; it seemed to express everything that the album is about. It doesn't, but it's a great bouncy instrumental. I hope there is a vocal version, at some point; I would love to hear what words Ronan would give it.
Short and sad, nothing but strings One of the atmospheric tracks of the album. Not much else to say.
An absolutely beautiful and haunting song. The music is mostly piano. VNV's usual strings take the backseat, to a synthesized chorus, and the beat is more calm and laid back, not unlike Tempest. The song deals with seeing that all of the ideals you strove to create in the world have been abandoned by your successors, and that there is no longer any place for you in the world that you helped to build.
Another slow one. I had not cared about the environment for a long time, until I heard this song.
How can you call this progress?
How did we come so far,
By blindness and stupidty?
We killed everything.
I did not understand this song when I first heard it. A month later, my fiancee and I broke up, and I got it. Life can be hell, but you must be strong. You must persevere. This too shall pass. The themes from Epicentre and Holding on, of keeping hold of and not compromising your ideals carry on to Genesis. But now a bigger picture comes into play, instead of focusing solely on yourself:
Even lands we once called home
Lie undiscovered and unknown.
Only heaven's silence for an answer.
The samples from the Book of Genesis don't hurt the impression of a big picture, either.
Very expiremental, as VNV goes. Four minutes of boom boom boom boom with occasional buzzy noises and bits of other drums, and some samples: "The atomic bomb" (heavily vocoded, might be a speech program), and "Air raid warning. If you hear any of these sounds, take shelter...". In the last minute, all the disparate sounds come together with some strengs, and make quite a beautiful song; I (and many others) wish that theme had been continued on. Interesting to listen to, more interesting to leave on repeat for an hour, crossfading and beatmixing into itself. However, it is essentially the same song as Covenant's "Shelter", but does not do it's job nearly so well.
This song will be both very popular in the clubs, and many people's personal anthem. It is the most straightforwardly danceable song I've heard so far, and it's message, though simple, is profound
I am not alone.
I am not afraid.
I am not unhappy.
These are the words I say to myself every day.
At the Minneapolis show, Ronan said that the song's only purpose live is to take away your inhibitions. He is very insistent that the audience dance, and sing along, and Fearless's chorus definitely helps that.
Another short, rather melancholy, atmospheric song. My friend Moz says that it "doesn't go far enough, fast enough". It seems to end right as it starts to pick up into a very powerful song.
This is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. All Ronan will divulge of the meaning is that the person it is about is not of this world. For me, it perfectly describes my ex-fiancee's and my relationship, now that we are friends again and speaking to each other. This song is too powerful to try and describe; if you don't buy the single when it comes out, download it from Audiogalaxy. It has been said to be one of VNV Nation's best songs ever, and I would have to agree with that.
Anyone who knows me knows that I think VNV Nation is the best band ever. And this is their best song, ever. I am not the only one who thinks this. It is not my favorite, but it is their best. This is the song that ties the album together. I've heard it described as "Blade Runner, but happy", and it was one of the first things that came to my mind when I saw the anime remake of Metropolis.