Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Album Review: Foster the People - Torches (4/5)

When I first heard American indie/pop band Foster the People earlier this year, I anticipated their debut album Torches very much. Lead single "Pumped Up Kicks" was a quite an enjoyable number--a tuneful minimalist production--prominent drum patterns with twangy underlining guitar chords and an excavating chorus reminiscent to MGMT or if the Kings of Leon adopted a euphonic flair to their sound. They also sound a little like another fairly new band The Naked and Famous, who also released their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You this year. So, whilst Torches isn't particularly trailblazing, it's still quite a satisfying listen.

While the sound on here is nothing short of cohesive, there is enough change-up within its rather short 10-track set to keep it interesting. First two tracks, "Helena Beat" and "Pumped Up Kids" kick off the album with prominent drums, alleviating guitar chords and subdued synth tones re-calling a little '80s panache, whereas third track "Call It What You Want" is quite upbeat, with lenient bass lines and underpinning piano chords, drawing in elements of dance-pop. It's also quite '80s influenced too.

At just under 3 minutes long, the rocking "Don't Stop (Colour On the Walls)" is the shortest song on here. It's very quirky and jaunty. I love the straining guitar melodies on here, particularly because they remind me of "Song 2" by British rock band Blur. Such a fun little number, similarly "Waste" is another sonorous tune--a calm pairing of soft drums, piano keys and skittering synths in the backdrop.

"I Would Do Anything For You," lays in pretty effectively into the sharp piano chords, towering over the prominent bass lines. Sounds a little Maroon 5. The albums calmer moments work just as well, closing track "Warrant" is collectively mellow, with its layer of soundscape and percussion only disturbed by the progressive guitar chords which enter later.

Torches doesn't nessecarily hit any bum notes, but there is some filler such as "Miss You" a trancey, synth-drenched number which doesn't quite go anywhere. However, on the whole this a very sturdy, cohesive, enjoyable album with a handful of highlights.

Best: Pumped Up Kicks, Call It What You Want, Helena Beat, Don't Stop (Colour On the Walls), Warrant


ww_adh said...

"Filler" is filler? Would you have been tempted to say so even if you liked the song? How did you even hear about this?

J.Mensah said...

My bad, its a typo, Its not called filler lol I got kinda lost in the sentence, I'm talking about "miss you" lol ill change it soon

ww_adh said...

That would be pretty funny if a band called a song "filler." It's kind of like when they have a song called "Bored" and critics can't resist saying that's how it makes them feel.

J.Mensah said...

Hehe, or like a band having a song called "Dire." What did you mean, how did I even about this?

ww_adh said...

I've never heard of them until today when I read about it on your blog and saw that Mobius had it on his chart, so I'm curious how you (and he) heard about them. I guess I'm just oblivious.

J.Mensah said...

I'd recommnened them. Have you heard any of their stuff yet?