The Futurist (Robert Downey Jr. album)

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The Futurist
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 23, 2004
Elias Arts
Santa Monica, CA
The Village Recorder
Los Angeles, CA
LabelSony Classical
ProducerJonathan Elias, Mark Hudson
Singles from The Futurist
  1. "Smile"
    Released: 1993
  2. "Man Like Me"
    Released: 2005

The Futurist is the debut studio album by American actor Robert Downey Jr., produced by Jonathan Elias and Mark Hudson, and released on November 23, 2004 through Sony Classical. The album debuted at number 121 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 16,000 copies in its first week.[1][2]

The album received mixed reviews. Downey stated in 2006 that he probably will not do another album, as he felt that the energy he put into doing the album was not compensated. He explained that he did not want to spend whatever time he had at home in the studio, but rather with his family. "Broken" plays during the end credits to Downey's 2005 film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Recording and composition[edit]

The Futurist consists of eight pop ballads written by Downey, as well as two cover songs: "Smile", a Charlie Chaplin composition; and "Your Move", the first half of the song "I've Seen All Good People" by Yes.[3] The song "Hannah" is an allusion to Downey's 2000 film Wonder Boys.[4]

The album was produced by Jonathan Elias and Mark Hudson, with Downey playing on the piano on some of the tracks.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
USA Today[6]

AllMusic's Matt Collar rated the album 3.5/5, and called Downey's lyrics "obtuse". However, he praised his interpretations of other musicians' work, such as "Your Move" by Yes and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile", and called the album "unpredictably moving as the best of Downey's film work."[5]

Elysa Gardner of USA Today wrote that the vibe on Downey's album "can seem pretentious or simply dull after a while, but there is a moody musicality to tracks such as 'Man Like Me' and 'Details'."[6]

Track listing[edit]

1."Man Like Me"Robert Downey Jr., Jenny Harding-Morris2:56
2."Broken"Downey, Mark Hudson5:12
3."Kimberly Glide"Downey4:53
4."The Futurist"Downey, Hudson5:00
5."Little Clownz"Downey3:47
7."Your Move"Jon Anderson4:11
10."Smile"Charlie Chaplin, Geoffrey Claremont Parsons, James Phillips3:48


Credits adapted from AllMusic.[7]

In other media[edit]

In the 2016 Marvel Studios film, Captain America: Civil War, Clint Barton mockingly refers to Tony Stark (played by Downey) as "The Futurist".

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (December 1, 2004). "U2's Atomic Bomb Explodes Onto Albums Chart, Taking #1 Spot". MTV. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  2. ^ "U2's 'Bomb' lights fire at top of charts.(soundtracks)". Daily Variety. December 2, 2004.
  3. ^ De Vries, Hillary (November 21, 2004). "Robert Downey Jr.: The Album". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Bottomley, C. (January 1, 2005). "Robert Downey Jr.: One Future at a Time". VH1. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "The Futurist - Robert Downey Jr". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Gardner, Elysa (November 22, 2004). "A solo Stefani is fun, No Doubt about it". USA Today. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "The Futurist – Robert Downey Jr. | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  8. ^ "Robert Downey, Jr. Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Robert Downey, Jr. Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "Robert Downey, Jr. Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2014.