Foals
Holy Fire


2.5
average

Review

by fogza USER (15 Reviews)
August 5th, 2013 | 18 replies | 674 views


Release Date: 02/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An interesting math puzzle, rather than a beautiful chess problem.

2 of 5 thought this review was well written

I cannot fault Foals on the basis of technical profiency. They construct interesting, rhythmic guitar patterns at will. The drumming is sharp and at times inventive, and the vocals are competent and clear. I think there is a percussive element in many of tracks that almost reminds me of the sound of marimbas amidst their funky, math guitar mix.

They sound every part the professional band. If they showed up at your party, everyone would remark on how good they are. At times, they even sound inspired like on single 'Inhaler' - Yannis Philippakis gets a little loose and sloppy, pushing a little harder. 'Late night' also has a little variation - beginning with a meditative keyboard intro and building to a rich, bassy, anthemic climax that still sounds relaxed and, well, cool.

The problem is when I hear this album, I get bored. The songs don't seem to go anywhere - very little grabs me. Unfortunately, this is a common problem with funk-centric acts - the songs are a tad aimless. Either you have hooks, or an emotional core - I think this is missing both. Apparently, some of the members joined Foals because they wanted to move away from serious math rock to make something a little more fun, and I'm guessing this album is the natural progression. But it isn't fun. It's dense, and it sounds too polite - there's no joy in the danceable tracks, and the more serious, moody stuff sounds forced. It's maybe a little too well crafted, too thought out, and the lyrics are neither here nor there.

For me, this band has the skills - now they just need the soul.



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user ratings (304)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
JS19
August 5th 2013



4219 Comments


You have some good points, but they need to be fleshed out properly. This sort of feels like a first draft review. It's not bad or anything, just need a bit of work

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's oddly hard to write about an album that sort of flatlines- it doesn't offend you, but it only registers mildly in your radar. I almost feel the length of the review is indicative of the impact that this record has.

DirEnRefused
August 5th 2013



2167 Comments


there's something of a prejudice for short reviews based purely on their length. i think there's definitely a skill to being concise, and i have a pretty vivid idea of what to expect from this record based on what you wrote. keep at it, pos.

JS19
August 5th 2013



4219 Comments


No no, I have no problem with the length. A short review that does the same job as a long one is
better. It just doesn't feel like I know enough about this from reading the review that's all. Hence
why I think a bit more explanation is needed when you make a point.m

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


An interesting math puzzle, rather than a beautiful chess problem.


that's kind of a weird thing to say. would definitely change that.

I cannot fault the Foals on the basis of technical profiency.


just 'foals,' omit 'the'

They construct interesting, rythmic guitar patterns at will.


*rhythmic. also kind of a weird thing to say, and you don't need a full stop because you can connect the following sentence with a comma.

I think there is a percussive element in many of tracks that almost reminds me of the sound of marimbas in amidst their funky, math guitar mix.


in amidst?

They sound every part the professional band


reword and rework into a coherent sentence with a point or omit altogether

If they showed up at your party, everyone would remark on how good they are


extraneous and utterly pointless. please delete immediately

Yannis Philippakis gets a little loose and sloppy, pushing a little harder


pushing a little harder? you're just saying words. elaborate

The problem is when I put this one in my headphones, I get bored


in your headphones?

The songs don't seem to go anywhere - very little grabs me


you're not using hyphens effectively

Unfortunately, this is a common problem with funk-centric acts - the songs are a tad aimless


foals aren't funk-centric.

Either you have hooks, or an emotional core - I think this is missing both.


you think this is missing hooks? seriously?

the remainder of your review is surprisingly fluid and descriptive, comparatively, except for when you say 'the lyrics are neither here nor there' - doesn't make sense.

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


i gave you a neg, but don't be discouraged. in the future, try to flesh out your ideas - elaborate more on your descriptions, otherwise they seem vague and disingenuous. maybe send future reviews to friends or fellow writers as well to get perspective before publishing.

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lol, fair enough. I'll try to explain more in future - I think what I was saying is it's a technically impressive record, but it has no heart and the songs are a bit shapeless and jammy. Which is a pretty subjective standpoint, but I've listened to it six times now and I still can't remember more than three of the tracks, which maybe says more than I did in the review :-).

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


yea see, you explained it more clearly and surprisingly more succinctly there than in your entire review. i'd place more emphasis on how forgettable it seems, despite their knack for experimentation and technicality.

also, i just read your elliott smith review and, a few grammatical errors and incongruous statements aside, the writing is pretty solid.

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A little harsh and condescending, but point taken, will proofread a bit more in future.

Grizzlypyro
August 5th 2013



141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cant say i agree with the rating but the review needs more substance.

Digging: Arcane Roots - Blood & Chemistry

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


i'm not trying to be condescending, just giving constructive feedback. sorry if i came across that way

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

While you did have some valid spelling and grammar crits (which I have to take on the chin), I think it's interesting when you criticise style. I prefer short sentences in some instances, hence choosing to not use a comma. Neither here nor there is a common expression where I'm from. If I listen to a song like 'You don't need my number', it actually sounds fairly similiar to 'Celebration' by Sly and the Family Stone, which I'd classify as funk - maybe disco. I don't like a review to be totally dry and expositional - the chess problem opening refers to the fact that some people find chess problems stirring in that they sometimes tell a story, and maths problems rarely stir the soul (although I suppose some mathematicians would disagree with me :-)). I think I'm right when I say Foals play alot of rhythm guitar and less melodic / solo type stuff. I think most people would get that 'Inhaler' is much more ragged and aggressive than most of the material - as if he has something to say, and he's straining outside of his comfort zone. I think it's pretty hard to just neg someone, rather than suggesting a few spelling edits - this is a community site as far as I can tell, and I'm not a professional reviewer. Wouldn't it be dull if everyone wrote the same way, and we spelled out everything for everyone? Oh, and I don't believe at any point I was disingenuous. Cool. Rant over.

JS19
August 5th 2013



4219 Comments


'Neither here nor there'

It is where I'm from too, but it still doesn't make sense when talking about lyrics. Do you mean they don't really seem to be focused enough and lack obvious meaning? because you should probably say that; the phrase doesn't really work.

'I think it's pretty hard to just neg someone'

He neg'd and explained a LOT about what you needed to change about the review! Take it as a compliment he put time and effort into helping you better your writing

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


see, i'm actually a very, very avid chess player vying for a professional title and the metaphor seemed weird to me, especially comparing it to math. math is a universal language and it's incredibly complex - just as thought-provoking as a challenging chess puzzle, but it depends what you're referring to i guess. idk, keep it though, it isn't a huge deal. also, when i was thinking back to when you compared it to funk, the first thing that came to mind was 'maybe he's thinking solely of 'my number,'' because i don't hear much of it outside of that, and the fact that you used it as your prime example tells me we're on the same page there (sort of). i was never opposing what you said about them playing a lot of rhythm guitar, i was more suggesting you join the two sentences as they aren't independent. the neg is meant to be more of a motivator than anything. good writing should be rewarded (but i mean, what are we really discussing here? a little tagline that says "x of x thought this review was well written." big deal? seriously, the pos/neg system isn't all that important) and i don't think this was well written or well argued, i'm sorry. none of us are perfect - god knows i have a long, long way to go as a writer. failure is something we have to accept and learn from (not that i'm calling this a total failure). if it were just a few spelling edits, i wouldn't have voted at all, but it's in how you string everything together. it's fragmented, not near as fleshed out as it should be (brevity is great if you can actually summarize it well), and i say 'disingenuous' because you aren't elaborating well enough.

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

JS19 - to me the phrase means 'of little consequence' or 'not important', and I think this fits. And yes, he did explain - I think I'm allowed to defend it and justify my thinking, no? I understand it's only an internet review, but I think the tone of the comment was a little superior, and I like a good argument. This is how we figure out what to accept and what to reject. Like he was right about the headphones thing, it was a horrible line.

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You're right, the pos neg thing isn't all that serious. Let's agree to disagree - I think our preferred styles are just incompatible.

Gyromania
August 5th 2013



15490 Comments


i disagree. i appreciate brevity in reviews - adam thomas's reviews are a prime example of how to write short-yet-thorough reviews. it has nothing to do with your style (i did comment about how i liked your elliott smith review). as for the superiority thing, well, judge me as you will, i have no reservations, but know that my intentions were good. keep writing though, i look forward to seeing more from you.

fogza
August 5th 2013



35 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hehehe, my reviews are usually horribly verbose. Peace dude, and I can concede your reviews are very good.



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