Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Album Review: Foster the People - Torches (4/5)
Foster the People's Torches is a fine debut, boasting the year's most shamelessly fun collection of head-nodding pop-rock songs. "Helena Beat" and "Pumped Up Kicks" open the album in fine form, sounding a lot like MGMT's fun side, a la "Kids" or "Time to Pretend." In fact, that's what I think of with this band: MGMT but without psychedelic hoo-hah. Good-natured "Helena Beat" is particularly great with its slamming beat, guitar, synths and "wee-ooh" lyrics. "Pumped Up Kicks" is the aforementioned breakthrough hit currently storming the charts.
Moving on from there, there's little not to like here, as all the songs have something good going for them, many recalling sounds inspired by or lifted from other notable acts. I particularly like the jazzy piano posturing of "Call It What You Want," the Coldplay-reaching chine-enhanced sound of "Waste," the laid-back Maroon 5-ish pop sound of "I Would Do Anything for You," and the dance-club vibe of "Miss You." But all the other songs are good too.
To think I almost missed the boat on this one. Well, I think I got on just in time, right as Foster the People transitions from being an indie to a mainstream band--for what rightfully "indie" band can claim a top 3 hit? A real find for pop lovers.
Best: Helena Beat, Pumped Up Kicks, Waste, I Would Do Anything for You, Miss You, Call It What You Want