The Futureheads’ Quadruple Negative

You thought that I was joking
When I said you were a moron
When I said it I was smiling
So you’d think that I was joking

This little gem is from The Futureheads’ “Meantime,” a tight, simple song about chatting meaninglessly with someone with whom you share a mutual disinterest. “You are a decent person,” singer Barry Hyde cedes, but “why do we say hello? It’s just a fashion that we follow.” These daily grinds populate Hyde’s lyrics, from conversation filler to the frenetic whir of corporate jargon in an employee’s “First Day,” another song from The Futureheads’ 2004 self-titled debut. Then there’s the “game of numbers” in “Trying Not to Think About Time,” a tormented flash of time/money/health problems.

One thing or another’s always getting in the way
Of this and it’s what we do, of this and it’s what we do
Wasting time and money’s so much sicker than you think
Especially when it’s you, especially when it’s you
Stopping all the clocks, I’m trying not to think about time

These themes are a little less evident on The Futureheads’ 2006 follow-up, News and Tributes,
but you can still find them in the song “Thursday” — while the chorus, “Every day, it still feels like a Thursday,” is pretty ho-hum, Hyde knits a memorable two-word phrase with his request for a “curse removal.” Finally, the ‘Heads’ third record, This Is Not the World, came out May 26; we fed the disc into our lyric robots, and they’ll be spitting out their computations soon.

MP3: The Futureheads – “Meantime”

MP3: The Futureheads – “Trying Not to Think About Time”


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