Foster_the_People_-_Supermodel (1)

Review: Foster the People – Supermodel

Foster the People were first caught in the web of public attention due to the dizzying success story that was ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, a song which pretty much embodied the Summer of 2011. Their debut albumTorches, which can also boast such hits as ‘Helena Beat’ and ‘Houdini’was such an unprecedented triumph, that it was almost impossible to follow up successfully. But Foster the People have done just that.

Foster the People – Supermodel ©Columbia Records; Image credit: Foster the People & Columbia Records
Supermodel starts off with a bang, with head-bopping, feel-good number ‘Are You What You Want To Be?’, complete with power chords, cutesy backing vocals and slithers of Moroccan influence. ‘Best Friend’ is another success; it explodes onto your eardrums with a comfortable groove, which is enhanced by trumpet fanfares. It’s undeniably a huge and busy piece, and is definitely one of the album’s best.

Other tracks employ a more trance-influenced method which also featured heavily in Torches; ‘Ask Yourself’ is a floaty progression into a upbeat knockout, whilst ‘Pseudologia Fantastica‘ is a psychedelic and yet slightly creepy piece. The “coughing up blood” and “knives/massacre” lyrics that feature in each song respectively, show that Foster the People haven’t lost the strangely dark subject material characteristic of ‘Pumped up Kicks’.

The single release ‘Coming Of Age’ has a strong chord progression and is very catchy, (probably due to incessant repetition that Foster the People seem so fond of). Although it is sufficiently trancey and uplifting, it is relatively unimaginative by Foster the People’s standards, and there are certainly better songs on the album.

In a similar format to Torches, the album ends with something a bit different. ‘Fire escape’ is a haunting and moving acoustic number, with urges to “save yourself” embodying the conflicting nature of Foster the People as a band. The pop/indie/electronica amalgamation, coupled with feel-good melody juxtaposed with dark lyrics, makes Foster the People the epitome of discordance, but somehow, it works.

Mark Foster’s peculiar tone and falsetto charm, the strong bass lines and the encouraging beats that made Torches so fantastic were employed to full effect in Supermodel, all to the band’s credit. On the other hand, Supermodelsomehow seems grittier than Torches, showing that the band have matured in the 3 year time lapse. Although I couldn’t possibly say Supermodel is better, Foster the People have certainly not disappointed.

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Jane Fieldsend

Third Year History Student, and Marketer Extrodinaire (under the official title of Marketing Director). Offers up the occasional musing in Arts & Culture or Lifestyle.