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'I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler' Is YACHT's Post-Modern Manifesto

Music ReviewSean McHughComment

As we’ve all been reminded to the point of mind numbing redundancy, October 21, 2015 marks the exact day Marty McFly traveled in time to a future filled with hover-boards, Jaws 19, and Mr. Fusion. In short, none of those hare-brained ideas have come to fruition, leaving many pop culture enthusiasts yearning for a “future” that would have been much, much cooler.

YACHT front woman and self-professed futurist Claire L. Evans may or may not share the same personal sentiments as many pop culture devotees, but YACHT’s sixth studio album, I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler, does not hold such convictions. Instead, the album addresses the bothersome nature of today’s “future” is in fact much more woeful than imagined.

YACHT has been known for variably high concept albums in the past, but ITTFWBC reaches new grounds. In promoting the album’s release, Evans and Jona Bechtholt chose to release a lyric video for “L.A Plays Itself” that certainly challenged the norms for album promotion. The video can be found on a specific domain of the same name, however there is an intriguing twist, the video only plays when Los Angeles Ubers reach surge pricing. Intended to highlight the growing traffic problem in Los Angeles, the intention is admirable, but might risk being too novel in premise. 

Some of ITTFWBC’s track titles alone indicate that Evans and Bechtholt are taking direct issue with society’s “plugged in” disposition. “Ringtone” takes jabs at our attachment to cell phones and the subsequent detached nature of modern human interaction with “hold me up to your face/hold me close to your ear/ hold me close to your head/I’m on the line why aren’t you here?” A playful package for a more critical narrative, something Evans’ deft writing lends itself to wonderfully. That being said, certain songs like “Don’t Be Rude” toe the line of heavy-handed attempts at getting a point across and subtle suggestion. Despite that fact, the musicality of the album is powerful and propels the listener to soldier on. Unfortunately, Bechtholt’s beats and funk infusion may be too infectious.

ITTFWBC is a premier platform for Evans and Bechtholt to opine over the present state of societal affairs, cultural cornerstones of the YACHT manifesto. Each track serves as its own individual touchstone within the larger demonstration of technological aversion, with a sonically self-aware wink to the highly electro-nature of the album. Irresistible tempos and pulsing beats make ITTFWBC hold the listener’s attention to the point of potential distraction, which really muddles the lyrical content of the record.

High in concept, the album’s true intention is almost certain to be obscured by the sensationalist song titles like “I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead,” and “War On Women,” catchy cadences, and sing along choruses, but to the listeners who are able to see through the heavy handed use of smoke and mirrors, they will truly understand the record, and YACHT will certainly be satisfied.