On Future Days, the band foregrounds the ambient elements they had begun exploring on previous efforts, dispensing largely with traditional rock song structures and instead "creating hazy, expansive soundscapes dominated by percolating rhythms and evocative layers of keys."PopMatters wrote that "It feels as if Future Days is driven by a coastal breeze, exuding a more pleasant, relaxed mood than anything the band had previously recorded." The last track, "Bel Air", has been described by critics as being gloriously expansive and Can's most impressionistic song, with "an almost painterly sense of blended colors and landscapes."
The album cover shows a Psi sign in the middle (drawn in the same style as the font used for the cover) and the I Ching symbol Ting/the Cauldron below the title. The surrounding graphics are based on the Jugendstil artstyle.
Some versions of the vinyl album have a slightly different cover in which the graphics don't have a light emboss or in which the lightly reflective gold tint is replaced by a flat yellow instead. These differences are also present on the CD releases. Even though not all versions of the covers are fully identical, the tracks do not differ on any release version whatsoever.
The album was ranked number 8 on Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time list.Pitchfork named it the 56th greatest album of the 1970s. In 1995 Mojo also named it the 62nd greatest album of all time.