Foster the People
Sacred Hearts Club


3.0
good

Review

by Michael Bracken USER (5 Reviews)
August 3rd, 2017 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We all want more.

In a sense, it’s admirable how little Foster the People plays to their strengths on Sacred Hearts Club, the group’s third full-length effort. Gone are the vibrant, psychedelia-tinged offerings of Supermodel, its criminally underappreciated predecessor (full disclosure: I adore that record). In their place, frontman Mark Foster and co. have unleashed a slick set of songs more akin to EDM, hip-hop, and even house music. Prior to the album’s release, Foster said his primary intention in writing it was to create something joyful. Given the U.S.’s current sociopolitical climate, this was a commendable attitude to take, and its success is hard to argue against. In the process, however, Foster the People have seemingly sacrificed one of the most vital components of their sound: craft.

I’ll let you know right off the bat that the music is most effective when it does explore more familiar sonic territory. The jangly guitar-pop of “SHC”, the bass-driven groove of “I Love My Friends”, the romantic soundscapes of “Static Space Lover”, and off-kilter indie jam “Lotus Eater” stand out as clear highlights. Closing track “III” is perhaps their most ethereal track yet -- a simple, ghostly ode to God and to eternity that might make Richard Dawkins shed a tear. Beyond these tracks, the album suffers from a lack of focus. Take album centerpiece “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”, for example, which has already become the LP’s most polarizing track, and for good reason. “Yeah, you're walking in stilettos, but your nose is bleeding out”, Mark Foster spits over the same beat you heard booming across the club the other night, right before your friend vomited into your lap. It’s uncharacteristic and off-putting, but not embarrassing, largely due to Foster’s tangible confidence and conviction. Around the three-minute mark, a dynamic shift occurs, with the arrival of a surprisingly moving string section. The song then fades out on an equally powerful piano motif, and you’re left wondering what the hell just happened. This kind of duality serves as the crux of Sacred Hearts Club. Obvious single “Sit Next to Me” benefits from a laid back ‘summer song’ vibe, but it struggles to leave a lasting impression. “Doing It for the Money”, cowritten by OneRepublic vocalist Ryan Tedder, is catchy enough but ultimately hollow. Furthermore, two compelling interludes pad out the record’s runtime, but both are too fragmented to garner much staying power; the Isom Innis-produced “Orange Dream” stomps away with an eerie stride, while Beach Boys tribute “Time to Get Closer” floats by in a thick, melodic haze.

Your first impressions of Sacred Hearts Club will be dependent on which direction you wanted Foster the People to take after Supermodel. If you wanted them to dive deeper into their radio-ready pop sensibilities, glossy tracks like “Doing It for the Money” & “Pay the Man” will immediately catch your ears. If you wanted them to double down on that record’s aesthetics, you might be put off entirely. But at the core of Sacred Hearts Club, beyond any restrictions of one’s tastes, there is certainly enjoyable music to be found. Just don’t let the neon lights blind you on the way there.


user ratings (101)
3
good
other reviews of this album
Divaman (3.5)
With this, their third album, Foster the People has begun to accumulate an impressive body of work....

related reviews

Supermodel

Torches

Comments:Add a Comment 
ExtinguishingTheSun
August 3rd 2017


254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

None of those pesky staff writers decided to review this thing, so I decided it was time to throw my hat into the ring and write my first

All criticism is welcome, as long as it is lavish praise

Thank you



trackbytrackreviews
August 3rd 2017


3407 Comments


bringing politics outta fuckin nowhere

neg

Faraudo
August 3rd 2017


3299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I liked it.

theNateman
August 4th 2017


3803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this album is wall to wall with pop bangers. Top 5 pop this year easily. Good review, even if I disagree with much of it

TVC15
August 4th 2017


10261 Comments


Woah wtf they released a new album? Torches used to be a hard jam of mine when it dropped

Digging: Medicine - 5ive [Come Here to Drink Milk]

literallyzach
August 4th 2017


518 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

solid review but definitely watch out for generalizing in your statements - "Obvious single 'Sit Next to Me' benefits from a laid back ‘summer song’ vibe, but it won’t leave any lasting impression on the girl who hears it while waiting in line at Starbuck’s" reads kind of cringey and heavy handed.



anyway, gotta check this out i've been pretty fond of everything they've done so far

ExtinguishingTheSun
August 4th 2017


254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the advice @literallyzach

I tried to add some color to my sentences to keep them from sounding too plain but might've gone too far in a few places

trackbytrackreviews
August 4th 2017


3407 Comments


you did

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2017


3112 Comments


Really well-written review, my man. I agree with Zach's criticisms. Keep this up, though, you have some very clear expression, which is a skill. One thing is you might structure your writing in a way that it centres around, for instance, what you feel is the crux of the album -- as you said -- a bit more clearly, or around descriptions like the one about the friend in the club, which I loved. Have a pos!

I do kind of agree about not bringing up a political (or really any) statement without any other context, that are a bit superfluous to the review itself. But it definitely doesn't take away from the fact that you're a good writer. Hope to see some more pieces from you soon.

Digging: Leonard Cohen - Thanks For The Dance

xtrole
August 5th 2017


71 Comments


Nice review! I'll have to check this album out as well.

Kompys2000
August 5th 2017


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I'm not gonna lie, I kinda hated this as soon as I saw the album art. It's not awful, but it's their weakest album yet by far. "Lotus Eater" is a jam though

Digging: Your Infamous Harp - Prah Suomafni Ruoy

Kompys2000
August 5th 2017


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review btw

ExtinguishingTheSun
August 5th 2017


254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks @Kompys2000

I actually almost didn't even listen to it because I found the songs on the III EP so lacking

Plus I've been on a big Supermodel binge and didn't want to risk spoiling that goodwill

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 5th 2017


25092 Comments


really well written first review nice job

nickwardmusic
August 6th 2017


15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great review. Can see the criticisms and I agree that Supermodel was underrated. Believe it or not, barring maybe Loyal Like Sid and Nancy, I think this is a pretty good mix of styles of their previous tow LP's, number one example would be SHC.

Faraudo
August 6th 2017


3299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've always thought that Foster is a pretty underrated band overall.

conditionals
August 14th 2017


555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really dig the tracks from the III EP (especially 'Doin it for the Money', which sounds like a way better cousin of Alt-J's 'Deadcrush'), but the rest is kind of disappointing.

Let's see if it grows.

brandontaylor
November 4th 2017


875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this was a low 3, catchy with a few highlights but really uninspiring overall

OmairSh
December 20th 2018


15005 Comments


Just saay the word and I'll part the SEEEAA

Digging: Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex

OmairSh
December 26th 2018


15005 Comments


Can't stop listening to Sit next to me



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy