By Elyse Breeze, @ElyseBreeze
This album has become my new guilty pleasure. I’ve been listening to it non-stop, and it has not gotten old yet.
Foster the People just has that “thing” that modern indie music needs. “Pumped Up Kicks” made America dance to a song that is ostensibly about a school shooting, and became, arguably, the summertime hit of 2010. Mark Foster scooted quickly out of the spotlight after “Torches” debuted in 2011 and played a few shows, here and there.
I was fortunate enough to snag a ticket to see them (before they started playing “real shows”) at a bar in Buffalo, N.Y. famous for booking indie-nobody bands called The Tralf. Three years later, Foster the People has released an album that has the potential to be better than the last. The former jingle writer has returned to show the world that his success is no fluke, and “Supermodel” is his proof.
Foster has described his second album as an “angry, guitar-based record about capitalist greed,” making it harder for fans to ignore the socio-politically driven lyrics. “Supermodel” has veered away from the pop dance beats of many songs off of “Torches” and given fans the upbeat, indie tunes they’ve been waiting for since 2011. (A few of their songs worth listening to from “Torches” includes “Helena Beat, Houdini, and I Would Do Anything For You.)
“Supermodel” has been referred to as “mostly an introspective rock album – a dimmed-down version of “Torches” told from the perspective of a guy who has toured himself ragged and emerged with new found perspective” (Billboard.)
Full Track List:
1. Are you What You Want to Be?
2. Ask Yourself
3. Coming of Age
5. Pseudologia Fantastica
6. The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones
7. Best Friend
8. A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon
9. Goats in Trees
10. The Truth
11. Fire Escape
I think that one of the greatest aspects of this album is the procession of the songs – they tell a story in their titles alone. The first song begs the question, “Are you what you want to be?” The lyrics read, “Well, I told her what she’s got should be protected in the arms of love/ Well I’m afraid of saying too much and ending a martyr / But even more so I’m afraid to face God and say I was a coward.”
Recording for “Supermodel” began in Morocco, and that becomes evident in this song – especially in the beginning! While this song entails the rock side of the album, “Ask Yourself” is played over acoustic guitar and fuzzy synth bass. It’s a great transition.
The band chose “Coming of Age” to be the first single off of the album. It was the last song they recorded, and it was the obvious choice. But my favorite song on this whole album is song number 10: The Truth. The tune is catchy, the words are powerful, and the beat is fantastic. “I have tried so hard not to be like them / I have found they don’t ever say what they mean / There is a truth, there is a light if you’d follow me there / I’ve been searching for directions and I’m convinced the world doesn’t know what it needs.” Amazing.
This is exactly what I like to see in an album from a band that’s been on a three year hiatus. This album gets a 9/10 from me.