Album Review: I'm Going Away - The Fiery Furnaces

The Fiery Furnaces have always felt like a band that like to do things the hard way just for the sake of it. From their days of performing every concert in a different genre-style through to this, their sixth album.

Because individually these song are glorious slices of pop music. 'Drive to Dallas' sounds like the White Stripes at the top of their game - a relaxed soul-country-ballad that descends into a freak-out midway through. Yet BlackPlastic can't help but feel their is too much on I'm Going Away and far too much of it sounds far too similar.

Consumed in sections it is, undeniably, great. If nothing else I'm Going Away proves that The Fiery Furnaces can write some of the best songs about relationships breaking down you will ever have heard. Take the horizontal blues of 'The End Is Near' or 'Even In The Rain' - the song writing is generally strong but as an album it needs a few of the weaker efforts thrown out and replacing with something totally different.

It's a shame because this is a band that have long since demonstrated their aptitude at variety and experimentalism - just take a handful of tracks from different releases and you will experience a wealth of different styles. As a result it almost feels like the Fiery Furnaces are laughing at us the listeners with this one, a classic case of the emperor's new clothes - is there really nothing to this beyond a few blues-soul pop songs or are is BlackPlastic just too dumb to get it?

Regardless, if you are fan there is likely to be enough here to interest you. Unfortunately if you have long been alienated by the Fiery Furnaces' deliberate attempts to be a difficult listen this is not likely to change your mind.

BP x

Out on Thrill Jockey on 24 August 2009. Available for pre-order at on CD and LP [affiliate links].