100 Greatest Albums of the 90’s: #33

The Future Sound of London – Lifeforms

An extremely appropriate title, ‘Lifeforms’ throbs with a strange natural glow. No electronica album pays as much attention to detail as this one; every melody, every beat, every whisper of a sound effect sounds like it’s been pondered and studied until it just about hits the mark. The key to its success is the gradual shifting. This is not a collection of songs; even using the word “song” is a bit inaccurate, since it’s hard to think of ‘Lifeforms’ as anything but a 2-disc 90-minute piece. Each track gently eases into the next and becomes more developed as it progresses bringing in stranger combinations. The glacial changes occurring happen within the tracks as well as between them; the title track features a female vocal which easily morphs into a flute mid-breath. While they use a liberal amount of sound effects, they never seem like novelties since they’re as part of the composition as any rhythm or melody. Plus, it’s difficult to get bored listening to it since there’s so much to pay attention to, but at the same time, it’s so transporting you’ll be drifting into a sort of semi-stupor only half aware of what’s going on like a lucid dream. And what a gorgeous dream it is.
Listen to: Life Form Ends


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