Superfruit, ‘Future Friends’ | Album Review
Superfruit returns with their complete, full-length debut album ‘Future Friends.’ All in all, the results are impressive for Mitch and Scott.
Following the departure of Avi Kaplan, the remaining members of Pentatonix went on a hiatus. Kirstin (Maldonado) released an EP, L O V E. Kevin “K.O.” Olusola released a single, a cover of “Down” by Marian Hill. As for Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, they stayed united, as Superfruit, initially releasing a seven-song EP, Future Friends – Part One. The duo returns with Future Friends – Part Two, as well as the combined Future Friends, which adds two songs in addition to the tracks from both EPs. Ultimately, Future Friends, as a whole, is an impressive, modern pop album.
Future Friends – Part One
“Imaginary Parties” kicks off the album superbly. The production is fresh to the nth degree, exemplifying the 21st century pop sound. Electronic sounds dominate, serving as a fitting backdrop to Mitch and Scott. Vocally, the stark differences of the duo’s voices are a selling point. Mitch’s upper register and falsetto cuts through, fueling the fire for various production tricks. Scott is the great stabilizer.
“Bad 4 Us” is an enjoyable record, featuring fantastic vocals and an infectious the groove. The production has some great touches, led by soulful guitar, pronounced bass line, and urban-pop cues. The shimmering sound quality that appeared on “Imaginary Parties” carries over into “Bad 4 Us.” “Bad 4 Us” clearly possesses the ingredients of a hit.
“Worth It (Perfect)”
On “Worth It (Perfect),” the duo showcases great vocal blend singing in unison (different octaves). Mitch stands out given the register, but Scott still shines, filling out the bottom like a boss. Pros include a catchy chorus, slick, modern production work, and when Mitch lets loose on the high F#.
The backdrop of “Vacation” borrows cues from the 80s, while maintaining a contemporary sound. Here, both vocalists take their share of lead. Mitch kicks things off on the first verse, with Scott adding a deeper, more robust sound on the second. Once more, they sing in unison on the chorus and the bridge. Foot tapping is unavoidable –four-on-the-floor gets you every time.
“Sexy Ladies” gives off mad swag. Soulful and amped up, “Sexy Ladies” has a tongue-n-cheek vibe that bodes well in its favor. Is this the long-lost tenth song from Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic? It’s hard to exceed Mars’ hipness, but Superfruit does a spectacular job in their own right.
“Heartthrob” rolls right along in swag heaven, playing to the strengths of Superfruit. Once more, Mitch is the dominant voice, but Scott isn’t merely a backup singer. A fun joint, one of the most fun moments arrives on the over-the-top bridge.
“H-E-A-R double T, H-R-O-B / Joey, Lance, and JT / Maybe Chris after a couple of drinks / H-E-A-R double T, H-R-O-B / Joey, Lance, and JT / Don’t forget JC, he can really sing.”
“Future Friends” gives Future Friends another high note. A slick EDM-pop joint, it offers a little bit of everything: superb unison singing, beautifully harmonized vocals, and sensational production.
Future Friends – Part Two
“How You Feeling?”
“How You Feeling?” capably kicks off Future Friends Part Two. Like the songs that precede it, it’s thoroughly modern sounding – the production work is slick AF. Mitch generally leads the charge here, filled with the utmost energy and feistiness. Keeping the momentum rolling is “Hurry Up!”, the promo single for the second batch of songs completing Future Friends. All in all, it’s enjoyable and well-rounded, losing no luster.
“Deny U” continues to feed the listener exceptional ear candy. Simply put, the production, not to mention the vocal production, is breathtaking. “Deny U” successfully blends electro-pop with urban music cues. There’s some gimmicky, part of the electro-script, not to mention fantastic falsetto from Mitch.
Scott takes the reins on “Goodbye from Lonely,” a nice contrast given the prominence of Mitch to this point. The blend of the two is a selling point here, given that special attention is paid to highlight Scott’s lead. As for the song, it continues the consistency showcased over the course of both EPs, now assembled for the full-length affair.
Arguably the best song comes by way of “GUY.exe.” While Superfruit have never lacked personality, it’s amplified on this ‘looking for love’ gem. It’s fun, groovy, and up-tempo, as Mitch and Scott search for their perfect man. The chorus in particular is infectious, regardless where you lie on the sexuality spectrum.
“Oh I, wish I could synthesize / A picture perfect guy / Oh I, oh I / Six feet tall and super strong / We’d always get along / Alright, alright / Oh, he’d pick me up at eight / And not a minute late / Cause I don’t like to wait, no / Kind and ain’t afraid to cry / Or treat his momma right / That’s right, that’s what I like.”
Following up “GUY.exe” is an arduous task. Nonetheless, “Fantasy,” featuring Amber Liu, is enjoyable. Like much of the album, it checks off the boxes in regards to production, vocal performance, and being enjoyable. The same can be said of the brief, danceable “Keep Me Coming,” where Mitch’s cutting tenor, intact with falsetto, is on autopilot. It’s a bit repetitive, but undeniably catchy.
“Everything,” featuring Inara George serves as the final ‘brand new’ joint. It’s soulful and appealing, without necessarily achieving crème de la crème status. “Future Friends – Brian Robert Jones Choir Remix” officially concludes Future Friends. The results are chilling. Adding the choir to “Future Friends,” a highlight from part one, only accentuates the record.
All in all, Superfruit have released a fun, well-rounded debut album with Future Friends. Both parts of this album sound fresh, suiting the sound that defines pop music in 2017. Sure, it’s still an adjustment hearing just Mitch and Scott as opposed to the rest of Pentatonix, but they sound magnificent as a duo. Future Friends: Two thumbs up.
Gems: “Imaginary Parties,” “Bad 4 Us,” “Sexy Ladies,” “Future Friends,” “How You Feeling?”, “Hurry Up” & “GUY.exe.”