Foster The People


Written by: HES on 01/09/2014 22:04:18

Declaring his second album as “angry” and “anti-capitalistic” Foster The People main man Mark Foster laid an interesting and more aggressive tone for the coming “Supermodel” - however it is mindnumbingly hard to find any anger on an album that practically reeks of sunshine. Recorded in exotic places like Morocco and Malibu, the album is more of an introspective rambling added to a backdrop of world music shabang - most severely expressed on the album opener “Are You What You Want To Be” in its almost schizophrenic changes from mumbling African drum carried verses to explosive pop-chorus. Angry? I am seriously underwhelmed if this is Foster angry.

With the previous album's single “Pumped Up Kicks” Foster The People broke out of the obscure hipster scene and into the low-brow mainstream and even the radio-sphere. It’s not hard to see how this happened. Foster The People is first off very catchy - the sheer joy and rolling drums catch on like a wildfire across all age groups and even though excessively marketed as being something else, “Supermodel” is the exact same introverted pop-rock - maybe just a tad more introverted. Whereas Rolling Stones Magazine decided to tear the album apart as a respectively bad Coldplay, Flaming Lips and Bon Iver copy, this scribe actually disagrees that "Supermodel" is a copy of anything - it just builds upon years of more high-brow indie-rock adding a layer of calm, effortless pop-music. But that is what Foster The People is: Pop-music.

Whereas the break-through album “Torches” served up something a bit more interesting that made the tastemakers of “the music elite” listen up, “Supermodel” is a weak-hearted follow-up with more original composition, but less original emotion. The narrative of the album closes around itself and only the banal, teenage-angsty identity crisis really strikes through but is hard to respect in all seriousness with all the “dududu” and “nanana”-refrains. Some indie bands have perfected the strategy of getting melancholy out of the over-enthusiastic (see: Vampire Weekend and fun.) where the sorrow creeps up on you after every explosive, enthusiastic power-chorus. But instead of landing between the two chairs of happiness and sadness, Foster The People merely takes the backseat not really making any kind of overwhelming statement other than that of euphony - because this is a perfectly mixed, well-sounding and choreographed to the teeth performance, just in complete lack of a believable narrative. Next time it would maybe pay off to actually get truly angry.

Download: Are You What You Want To Be?, Ask Yourself, A Beginner's Guide To Destroying The Moon
For The Fans Of: Neon Trees, Gotye, Stepdad

Release date 14.03.2014
Columbia Records

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