Foster The People – Torches album review

If there’s one band you should be listening to it should be the most talked about band of 2011 right? Foster The People showcase their power to be the next psychedelic-pop parvenu ready to purloin the place MGMT once had with their break out “ Time To Pretend.” This time around the Los Angeles trio charmed indie music lovers with their psychedelic-power hit single “Pumped Up Kicks.” A melodious misleadingly but infectious tale of an unsupervised recluse on the verge of shooting up a school; “Better run, better run, outrun my gun”– oddly enough ample pop to make the perfect summer soundtrack. Undoubtedly, the ideal track to make their mark as indie hotshots.

The anticipated “Torches” yields powerhouse driven beats, thwarted guitar riffs which lock horns with everlasting surging synth vocals. At times frontman Mark Foster comes too close to hitting the mark with overstated falsetto vocals suspicious of a directive from the label, but don’t worry the contagious hooks more than atone for this.

Flat out – the standouts on “Torches” are the well-produced singles which have been recycled from their “Foster The People EP”, “Helena Beat,” “Houdini,” and “Pumped Up Kicks.” The layered tracks that keep the torch lit are ones you’ll indubitably have scheduled for repeated play. A culmination of creativity, charm and influence making your eardrums feel right at home. But sometimes the tracks are too familiar and lack organization.

“Call It What You Want” could also come close to being one of the standouts on “Torches.” An electro-house start quickly turns into an infectious 90’s piano pop to-be-single that makes you want to shout out the five word melodic chorus regardless of the song’s meaning. The compelling (and almost TV commercial soundtrack-feel) “Color On The Walls (Don’t Stop)” is evidence of Foster’s craft at manufacturing irresistible hooks. “Waste” almost sounds too familiar… an offshoot of “Pumped Up Kicks” with different lyrics and a lower key? You be the judge. “Torches” finishes off with the bold anthem “Warrant” sending off the album on an energetic note. If it were me I would be more prone to pick one of the singles from the EP – a kind of cliff hanger if you want to call it that.

“Torches” definitely takes you on a ride you’ll never forget. A mixture of 90’s pop, psychedelic MGMT minus the outlandishness and a pinch of 80’s synth-pop. With a solid and promising EP, the young trio powerhouse’s unique debut “Torches” substantiates that their viral “Pumped Up Kicks” single, and a subsequent sold-out tour after their debut festival domination at SXSW, weren’t just a twist of fate. Foster The People certainly make their mark as a force to be reckoned with.

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