Foster The People are not really inventors of a brand new sonic template as a band. However, despite that, the group who are following musical tradition from Los Angeles made an impression musically. With some catchy singles, a falsetto vocal delivery from Mark Foster, and the fact that they were very trendy musically at the time of release means that this should be observed. Let’s do just that and hear where it takes us.
Helena Beat begins with some interesting real drum beats and a child laughing. It quickly launches into a weird piece of music that is actually really good, from the go. The melodies present are very catchy. A female singing voice enters, which is of decent quality and sounds very good. This is a good and decent listen, and it is an anthemic and euphoric tune to listen to. There is a nice guitar and keyboard mesh-up solo, which is also really cool, before the vocals resume. In any case, the music present is different in a good way. Therefore, it works well. A very much millennial piece of music, it is full of twists and turns to grab your attention. The second half of the tune has some very interesting sounds and parts that sound a lot like The Chemical Brothers early work. A great start to this album, this is really lively and passionate music. Good to listen to, let’s hope the rest of the album continues to be as consistent as this song.
Pumped Up Kicks begins with an excellent drum beat, electronic whooshes, and a funky muted guitar section. This is instantly catchy and great to listen to. It’s a tale of murder and mystery, but lyrics aside, this is a really excellent tune to hear. When the chorus arrives, you are taken up to the next level, and this song is a fun and fantastic listen. A really nice tune to hear, the lyrics are definitely twisted and this isn’t your typical Pop/Rock tune. Nonetheless, it is fantastic and it works. A lively and awesome tune to hear, there is a weird sound section towards the end that is heavily and electronically edited. The main vocal melody is then whistled, and this song returns to the chorus to conclude. Great song to hear. Very catchy and worth your time. It ends suddenly.
Call It What You Want begins with some 4/4 kick drum beats and Syd Barrett style vocal sounds. This quickly launches into a strange and weird piece of music that follows the basic formula of Rock and EDM meshed together. Eventually, a semi-Rapped vocal set enters, and this piece sounds quite good. An interesting, lively, and danceable tune, this is a good album but probably not a great one by this point. Nonetheless, it is about maintaining one’s reputation in the postmodern world. This sounds awesome and is definitely something to play in the car stereo. There is a breakdown in the second half with piano playing away and vocal sounds, before launching back into the chorus. Fairly predictable, but a nice listen nonetheless. A good tune. It ends with a load of electronic trickery here, before ending abruptly.
Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls) sounds awful from the start. There is an annoying melody and musical approach to this song which isn’t the best. Fortunately, this awful and ordinary listening experience which sounds like Blur on drugs is less than three minutes long. Even so, this isn’t the greatest tune here and it drags down the album quite a bit. Regardless, this fairly ordinary tune can be skipped. Nothing great here, a bitter disappointment musically. The music is not the best, a real shame to hear. Very ordinary, and the ending is abysmal. Terrible
Waste is another ordinary tune from the beginning. You would think that Foster The People would have made better tunes than this? But no. It’s a song about breakups in relationships, and it is a depressing and unenjoyable listen. Sadly, this is the case. It is a bit more minimal than previous efforts, despite having some Roland retro sounds in it. In any case, nothing hugely special here, it is not a solid effort of fusing EDM and Rock together. A drag to hear, this is sonically not unlike Coldplay’s lesser efforts. A very depressing listen. Three minutes of garbage, or waste, specifically.
I Would Do Anything For You begins with some strange sounds from keyboards and electronics, quickly launching into a deep and passionate love song. This is surprisingly good listening compared to what has come before it. This song sounds happy and pleasant, and Foster The People are another band who shows potential, even if they never get there on this album. It’s okay, but this shows exactly why these guys probably weren’t as big as they could have been musically. The falsetto vocals are very good here and make this otherwise ordinary song come alive. Decent regardless, and a passionate and emotional tune. It ends with some cyber electronic melodies, which are interesting and cool.
Houdini begins with a catchy drum beat and percussion. It quickly launches into a typical tune that is overtly mainstream and not very different. Harry Houdini is the reference point here, but even so, this isn’t a very strong listening experience. The sounds throughout are very annoying. The beat present is extremely catchy and should be sampled to good use elsewhere. It’s okay, but not something you would wish to hear on a daily basis. One can hear the effort in this song, but that is like polishing something that is permanently stained, it doesn’t work. It gets particularly awful towards the end of the song, and it finally dies down after three minutes or so of torture. Ordinary.
Life On The Nickel begins with some weird cut-up electronic loops, a very ordinary and unoriginal chiming melody sound, and this song launches into another very forgettable piece of music. This is really very much garbage music and it has not aged at all well. It just sounds like a poor attempt to approach Coldplay’s music, once again. The song here doesn’t have any lyrical prowess about it. Instead, it is purely about falsetto vocals and electronics. This is hardly worth your time or awe-inspiring, it just falls flat. The drumming towards the end is fantastic though and is a good showcase for the group in that respect. Otherwise, avoid it. Boring.
Miss You begins with programmed beats, synth melodies and a bad retro 1980s feel to the music here. This is another fairly forgettable tune that sounds identical to the rest of the album. It does have a great falsetto vocal by Mark Foster, but aside from that, this is very difficult to enjoy. It quickly launches into a good mesh of drums, percussion, and spacey keyboard sounds. Unfortunately, this is neither really top-notch nor memorable music. Rock music’s heyday was well and truly gone by this release, and songs like this one prove that so. Towards the end are some pounding drums, electronic melodies, and sounds galore, wrapping up another forgettable song. Ordinary for sure.
Warrant begins with some ghostly choir sounds. These go on for some time and are very Star Wars like and suspenseful. Soon enough, some electronic drum beats begin to enter, and we are underway. The beats here are fairly catchy. Following it is a bass guitar and this song has a fairly New Order feel to it. This is a piano driven ballad that sounds quite good, in fact, at least to the rest of the album. That is, until the awful chorus enters, which sounds really bad. At this point, you certainly can hit stop and listen to something else. Foster The People could have done much better than most of the songs on this album, and this is a sour taste in the mouth to finish up with. The electronic vocals and other melodic sounds are different, but then again, could have been done better. A really ordinary piece of music, and not the best of the 21st century. Dull and annoying. It ends with some electronic sounds that are weird.
This isn’t the big breakthrough of Rock and EDM that one would otherwise hope for. Instead, this is very forgettable and average music to spend time listening to. Foster The People do not come across as a consistent group with a groundbreaking and genre-busting mission. Instead, the music here comes across as ordinary and formulaic. Should you listen to this album? Probably not, just put on Pumped Up Kicks only a few times now and again and you’ll be okay.
Boring and forgettable.
i love pump up kicks