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Futurist

Robert Downey Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


1. Man Like Me
2. Broken
3. Kimberly Glide
4. The Futurist
5. Little Clownz
6. 5:30
7. Your Move
8. Details
9. Hannah
10. Smile

Product Description

Amazon.ca

The actor-turned-recording-artist oeuvre has long been ripe for ridicule -- Sebastian Cabot does Dylan, anyone? -- and short on surprises, but this warm, low-key effort by Downey offers up a few intriguing ones. Though he's toyed with music previously, the actor's commitment here is a total one, his troubadour guise carried via an earthy voice with echoes of Dave Matthews' and informed by lyrics with more than a little personal, if lyrically opaque, truth. The wistful "Broken" may be carried on the album's most lilting melody, but its repeated AA-creed refrain is a bittersweet reminder of Downey's personal demons. Spare, jazzy arrangements help keep the focus on Downey's voice throughout, a brave tack that sometimes overplays his novice songwriting skills. But while songs like the Wonder Boys-inspired "Hannah" may amble, the forceful "Man Like Me" and stately grace of "Kimberly Glide" are better showcases for Downey's musical promise. His eight originals are supplemented by two covers: an expected, if overly smoky jazz trio cover of Chaplin's "Smile" and a quaintly confident cover of Yes' "Your Move" sweetened by Jon Anderson himself on backing vocals. -- Jerry McCulley

Product Description

Robert Downey Jr, The Futurist

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic March 4 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nice deep music on this CD and Robert has such a great sultry voice. I could listen to it for hours :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars RDJ! March 28 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
RDJ is so great.......musician, actor, hunk o hunk burning love....of course everything about him is incredible including his commitment to his fam and fitness
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Dec 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Finally... music that hits you in the brain,the heart and the stomach.It is so fine that i can't find a category to attach it to other than that it is so new to the scene, that it makes everything else out there secondary.It is one of the few CD's that hit me out of the blue so hard,when i put it in the cd player i listened to it three times none stop.Lastly before this gets sounding to sappy,three words..buy it quickly.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Sexy Dec 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was a big fan of Downey's rendition of "the River" from the Alley Mcbeal sound track and I recently heard him perform on the Tonight show. This is a departure from what I would normally purchase but there's something very sexy about his voice.
The cover of "Your move" and "a Man like me" are favorites. He can croon to me anytime.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  155 reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully human "Futurist" was worth the wait Nov. 23 2004
By Angela - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It begins with the pleasing musical simplicity of a solo piano. I hold my breath. Then his sensual, sumptuous voice washes over me -- "This is the night I've been dreaming of forever, the mirror takes a look at my face" -- and I smile. At first, I search for signposts in his words that will help me to connect the songs with the stark headline details of his life we all know. But then I let go and sink into the complexities that lie at the heart of his music. When it ends, and there is only the tap of rain on my window, I feel as if I have visited with Downey for a while in his own beautifully human universe.

For some of us who have been Downey fans since Less Than Zero and before, the wait for his first CD has been a long one. "The Futurist" is worth the wait. I'm old fashioned in that I think albums should be a whole experience: an interesting cover, liner notes, designed to be listened to from start to finish without interruption. After listening to "Futurist" for the last few hours, I can say that in my view it is a proper album, with a beginning, a middle and an end. It's direct and warm, emotionally and musically honest. The production doesn't disappoint. Each listen brings something new to my attention. But, it's a Robert Downey Jr. album, so along with the beauty and the genius, there are intriguing, subtle kinks and oddities.

Musically, Downey's clearly adept at genre skipping, at laying down his own richly textured path of musical expression. It is pop, but pop inspired with delicate jazz and blues flavours, and a sprinkle of classy soulful moments. Downey's vocal performances are a mix of fragility and strength, and they captivate. His voice moves comfortably between smooth as suede on the ballads, to a rock edginess, to a delicious smoky blues tone.

On the production, I have to say that in my opinion the gentler, more organic approach taken by Jonathan Elias suits Downey's music better than Mark Hudson's somewhat busy production style. But I confess to a bias in that one of my most treasured CDs is Elias's Prayer Cycle.

Downey's lyrics are strong and evocative. Sometimes he slips into the delightful wordplay that his fans have come to anticipate from his media interviews. The theme of transition prevails. He uses his songs to examine those shadowy times on the edge of love and redemption.

For now my favourite song is "Kimberley Glide," or then again "Little Clownz" and "Hannah" are really good, and there's "A Man Like Me" and "Details" to consider. And listening to "Smile" at the end of the album felt rather like opening a small velvet-wrapped present.

The creative arts always involve risk but Downey took a bold step when he committed to push at the edges of his musical competence, and create his first CD. I applaud his courage and spirit. "The Futurist" reveals to us all that as both an actor and a musician, Robert Downey Jr. is gifted, daring and imaginative.
69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THAT Robert Downey Jr., no way! Nov. 25 2004
By Rex Hammock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When I ran across this album my first thought was, "Robert Downey Jr.?" Surely not the Robert Downey Jr. who's a brilliant actor but noted drug addict? But, sure enough, it is. After listening to the sample clips off this album, I was intrigued enough to buy the album. And I'm pleasantly surprised: It's very good if you like (as I do) slow, introspective, lyric-driven, rock (somewhere between Sting and John Mayer?). Downey's bluesy voice is full and soulful and the result is surprisingly pure, honest and mature. Downey's piano-playing on ocassion reveals a slight echo of a Billy Joel-Elton John early 80s lick, but like his voice, songwriting and interpretation, his performance on the piano also is solid. His songwriting is honest and self-revelatory: he's a poet with more than rhyming skills. And spending time strung-out and in jail provides plenty of grist for him to work with. What a surpirse. Now I know.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Downey jr. The Singer!! Nov. 24 2004
By Judy A. Barker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The first thing that hits you while listening to this cd is the unique qualities of Downey's voice. If you could mix up Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker, Tom Petty and a bit of Steely Dan you would have only the beginning. You need to add to this mix his own deep slightly raspy voice that is full of soul and raw emotion and you have what makes listening to this cd so compelling. His voice tells us right away that this a man who has gone through way too much life for someone his age. There is no hiding it and why should he. It is a voice that ranges from tenderness, to wistfulness, to anger, to hope and hopelessness and back again with all of the emotional terrain in between these stops. The lyrics are jazzy and remind me of the best of Beat Poetry. I keep changing my mind over my favorite song. There is a sense of remorse,loss, and nostalgia to "Kimberly Glide" that touches me over and over. The images are arresting and new such as "Cactus Angels". "Little Clownz" is fascinating with every listen. And "Hannah" just surprises me over and over with it's chord changes and harmonies. I love the title of this cd...The Futurist. There is a feeling of hope and optimism rising above the ashes of a difficult past. I can imagine sitting in a small club and listening to Downey singing these songs from his heart. Now that would be heaven.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musically Memorable Nov. 26 2004
By MovedbyMusic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Robert Downey Jr. has already proven his artistic genius as an actor and showcased some of his vocal and piano skills during some of his acting appearances on Ally McBeal for example. His new debut cd "The Futurist" is original; his voice is captivating (raspy kind of like an Eric Clapton rocker sound but heavier like a Joe Cocker haunt); and some of the musical background is fascinating. Downey actually wrote several songs on The "Futurist" and cowrote others with Mark Hudson. The overall effect is ballad beautiful musically but Downey's lyrics are the weak spot. The lyrics are not grounded and give the songs a sense of confusion to me and kept me from rating the cd as a 5 star release for my taste. I love the way the cd was produced though and the melodies arranged. I particularly noticed and appreciated Sarah Hudson's background vocals. Production credits go to Mark Hudson and Jonathan Elias.

My favorite track is "Your Move" originally by "Yes" in large part because of the vocals he shares with Jon Anderson but you'd be wrong to assume it even remotely resembles the interpretation by "Yes" at all. You have to hear how lovely it is reworked. The other track I love is "Smile," Downey's voice coupled with Charlie Haden's renowned jazz bass is astonishing.

It's a surprise of a lovely release.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complex and beautiful Nov. 23 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have to start by saying I have been a huge RDJ fan for many many years so I could not possibly write an unbiased review if my life depended on it. That said, I honestly believe that anyone who gives this CD a chance...not just a quick skip through, but truly listens to it as a whole will have to admit that it's great.

Having heard some of RDJ's music before I thought I was prepared for what I was going to hear. Still, I was suprised and of course captivated with what I heard from this album. That's not to say I was blown away at first. Actually some of the songs are still growing on me. This is of course because the music is so much like Downey himself, multi-faceted, crazy, endearing, poetic, and mysterious.

After listening to this tonight a few times I actually feel emotionally exhausted. This was a far cry from the bubblegum pop I'm hit with on the radio all day long(which I love). This was real raw emotion, plain and simple.

To those who will dismiss this as another washed up actor with rock star dreams, they at the very least must admit his lyrics and voice are beautiful.

Buy this CD and give yourself ample time not to simply listen to it but to experience it and all the emotion that comes with it.
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