Foster the People
Torches


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob Hampton USER (13 Reviews)
August 8th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: These are one of those times when we're gonna have a lot of fun.

So much of the music we enjoy here on Sputnik is best listened to alone in a quiet setting. This is mostly because the majority of music that people listen to in groups these days has become more or less unbearable. Every now and then, though, there comes along an artist that can satisfy both the picky solo listener and an entire party full of casual dancers. Foster the People have become the latest band to accomplish this feat, sweeping in a wide range of fans with their debut album, Torches.

Foster the People have a rather simple style. It’s an indie dance vibe, often combining acoustic piano and electric guitars with electronic beats and synthesizers. It’s moments like the pounding drums and pompous piano in the introduction of “Houdini” that make it difficult to avoid grins and head-bobbing. The band often accomplishes the sound of a lot going on musically, when it’s actually just basic (but extremely catchy) rhythms and patterns played in a loud, in-your-face manner with some random sound effects thrown in. However, this is not to say that Foster the People are trying to deceive listeners or come across as something they’re not. It’s simply their style, and it works really well.

This group is a blast, although that’s just about it all it is for now. There isn’t a true ballad anywhere to be found on Torches. Every single track is at least moderately paced, because that’s what Foster the People do best: catchy, upbeat, danceable tunes. They do show that they’re good for more than sweaty dance party material by working some emotion in successfully on “Waste.” However, the album’s weaker moments are when the band strays too far from their usual lighthearted formula, most notably on the biggest attempt at being serious, “I Would Do Anything for You.” It’s the dullest and least memorable track by far. It would be great to see the band become better at tackling different song styles in the future.

The lyrics on Torches aren’t exactly spectacles to gawk at, but they don’t need to be by any means considering what Foster the People are trying to accomplish with this album. It’s great party music, but the lyrics aren’t shallow words about partying. That alone is already more than a good start. While there isn’t any complex decoding to be done, the simple words function perfectly for the most part. They’re easy to memorize and sing along to, and several tracks feature instances of words or phrases repeated with simple melodies. It could have been annoying, but it comes off as fun and catchy.

Foster the People’s greatest strength is the fact that they’ve written an album’s worth of songs that are just so darn CATCHY. After listening to Torches just one time, I found myself recalling the choruses of almost every single track and even a fair amount of the verses. These tunes are a whole lot a fun, and they’re accessible to a diverse audience. Torches is definitely the perfect album to blast with friends this summer. While Foster the People might be just the next big thing among bands of their kind for now, there’s no reason to refrain from enjoying the party while it lasts.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmmm. We'll call this one short and to the point.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2011


7041 Comments


Length is not really that short. I'll give you to the point though. pos

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

However, this is not to say that Foster the People are trying to deceive listeners come across as something they’re not.


missing a word there?

otherwise really good review. and well done not mentioning "Pumped Up Kicks" haha.

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh yes! thank you for pointing that out. fixing now

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

somehow i'm just finally downloading this. they were great live. they definitely should have played the mainstage at sasquatch, they played their set on the smallest stage and the crowd overflowed into like the THIRD row of food stalls. I wanted some fries god damnit.

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha, lucky! I live in Utah, so it's pretty rare for bands I love to come to my area. I hope these guys eventually do. From the sound of Youtube videos though, I bet they're a blast live

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty much everyone was there for "Pumped Up Kicks" and they played it last. I think that was a smart move because if they opened with it I bet half the crowd would have peace'd the scene after the first few songs.

timbo8
August 8th 2011


618 Comments


Been seeing alot of buzz over these guys, will check out

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good! It's way fun

Yuma310
August 8th 2011


1656 Comments


Nice review! Pos. Not my type of music though.

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Dante. Yeah, it would not appear to be based on your dig and your pie chart that I just creeped on haha

Yuma310
August 8th 2011


1656 Comments


Ha ha it's all good man, although I will admit that I sorta liked pumped up kicks.

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's SO dang catchy. Not even one of my favorites compared to the rest of the stuff on here though

Yuma310
August 8th 2011


1656 Comments


Yeah, I was so surprised when it came on my local top 20, I'm like, am I stilll on Kiss FM? But yeah I though it was pretty good, and yeah it is really catchy, even though it doesn't seem like it should be.

acorncheese
August 8th 2011


7119 Comments


pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee write a new summary and then i'll pos

thatoneguy726
August 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha, they're not my words. It's a line from one of the songs that pretty much sums up the album. Still bothered?

thatoneguy726
September 7th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Urg, I so want them to come play here. Would be so so fun

xfearbefore
October 11th 2011


1245 Comments


This is quite good. See, now this is how you make electro/indie dance pop that doesn't massively suck, take note LMFAO. Or just die in a fire, either one is fine.

This review is really well written and sums up my basic thoughts upon a cursory listen to this album tonight. This isn't amazing or universal or anything, but it does what it does remarkably well. These guys know how to craft a melody.

thatoneguy726
November 8th 2011


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shaz yeah they do! Thanks. I'm finding that this is kind of a gateway album for a lot of people who only listen to mainstream to start to get into indie.



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