Foals
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 2


4.4
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
October 22nd, 2019 | 68 replies


Release Date: 10/18/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As both a standalone piece and as a counterpart to its predecessor, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2 is a towering achievement.

I won’t overstate how disappointed I was in Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’s premier installment, because on a certain level, I get it. The band aimed for something looser and more experimental, and they ~sort of~ succeeded. The electronic undercurrents and power-pop vibes were a bit hit-or-miss, but when they caught fire on the second half of ‘Sunday’ or launched into that mesmerizing, urgent orchestral whirlwind on ‘Syrups’, it was well worth it. Regardless, the inconsistency had me a little nervous for Part 2, because typically in these kinds of double albums, bands put their strongest foot forward first. Thankfully, Foals appears to have back-loaded almost all of their best moments, saving them for a heavier, moodier second chapter that is far better and way more consistent than its predecessor.

Part 2 is full of dirty rock grooves and swelling vocal hooks, but it doesn’t mark a regression in the band’s creative synapses, which are still firing on all cylinders. ‘The Runner’ is precisely the kind of moment that Part 1 was sorely lacking: a riff-heavy song with an insanely memorable vocal component. Its placement as the album’s opener (discounting the ‘Red Desert’ interlude) is ideal, and it immediately sets the tone for Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’s second composition to be the darker, denser sequel. Those suspicions are all but confirmed by the time ‘Black Bull’ explodes through your speakers, which thanks to Yannis Philippakis’ hoarse shouts and screams, is by far the loudest track on either album. The pummeling drums and disorienting guitar work only adds to the mayhem, and it’s enough to make you wonder why Foals isn’t always this badass. It feels like the spiritual representation of that eerie, dawn-lit cross on the album cover. ‘Like Lightning’ is another purebred rock song that helps Part 2 to take shape, and even if it’s a bit more straightforward than the two aforementioned highlights, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable rocker that combines a stomping rhythm with an impossible-to-shake melody.

This album is not a black-and-white departure from Part 1, although the moments that share the most sonic qualities with that installment also sound more evolved and fully-curated. One such example is ‘Wash Off’, which features a bouncy rhythm and prominent ooh’s, but slowly crystallizes into a vocal crescendo where Philippakis toes the line between singing and shouting in what might best be described as a balancing act between emotion and restraint. Its upbeat tone and almost pop-rock vibe makes it one of – if not the – most amusing track on the record, if for no other reason because it takes every bit of mental gymnastics not to cave into the slowly building momentum and erupt into glorious shouts of “go wash it off!” ’10,000 Feet’ is another Part 1-reminiscent highlight that feels like a more matured version of those stylings, balancing gorgeously shimmering guitars with synths, ghostly vocal hums, and pastoral samples that fade the song’s final half-minute away. It’s a gem in Part 2’s back half, and it possesses one of the most breathtaking atmospheres across all of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost.

Foals saves their absolute best for last with ‘Neptune’ - a ten minute modern rock epic. The guitars and background synths swirl with their own gravitational pull, while Philippakis draws us in with haunting chants of “come take me away.” A little bit past the halfway point, the vocals cut out and the song veers off into a nearly four minute long detour of electric riffs that sound like far-off transmissions and mysterious galactic sounds that give one the feeling of being suspended in space. The song eventually circles back to its refrain, but it is delivered with more passion and energy than before, drawing the curtain on what may be Foals’ best song ever with a dual-pronged sense of urgency and mystery. If there’s one moment of either installment of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost that you absolutely must hear, it’s ‘Neptune.’

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’s second chapter packs a punch that Part 1 never even approached, and all without sacrificing any of its imagination or quirkiness. It’s the heavier, more rock-oriented version of its sibling, eliminating its worst traits while honing and perfecting the best that it had to offer. Part 2 makes the double album worth revisiting as a whole experience, especially for those who found the direction of Part 1 to be disappointing. This is still clearly the superior half – and by a wide margin – but there’s something to be said for the additional context that this heavy hitter of a postlude provides its listeners. For one thing, it helps to undo the notion that bands always front-load split releases such as this. More importantly, of course, it salvages and rounds out Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost into one of the most intriguing double albums to come out in recent years, with Part 2 serving as one of the most thrillingly experimental and energetic “straight-up rock” albums of the decade. This is a special piece of music, and one that is all the more likely to impress because of how unexpectedly it departs from the formula laid out in Part 1. As both a standalone piece and as a counterpart to its predecessor, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2 is a towering achievement.




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user ratings (92)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
October 22nd 2019


32733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4 | Sound Off

Never would have guessed it, but this is my favorite rock album of 2019. This is also like the 4th album of the week that I've reviewed as a 4+, so sue me. It's been one hell of an end to the year, may it continue through December!

Digging: Low Roar - ross.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2019


18882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Good review. My favorites are Wash Off, Into the Surf, and Neptune. I wasn't as impressed overall, Part 1 and this are my least favorite Foals albums, even though they are well made/produced and pretty fun to listen to. TLF is their best and one of my favorite albums of the decade.

Digging: Lapalux - Amnioverse

Ashtiel
October 22nd 2019


809 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Black Bull" works so much better in the context of the album with "Like Lightning" to keep the momentum going. Aside from that, I avoided the singles for this just like Part 1.

I haven't given Part 2 as many listens as I'd like considering my unhealthy anticipation for it, but it could potentially just surpass Part 1 for me, even though "Syrups" is a very tough act to follow. Time will tell, "Wash Off", "Dreaming Of", "10,000 Feet", and "Into the Surf" need some time to sink in.

The artwork for this is among some of the best this year though, and "Neptune" is definitely otherworldly in its own way.



Digging: Norma Jean - All Hail

Faraudo
October 22nd 2019


3282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Probably my favorite album of theirs. As a standalone is excellent and as a whole body of work (with Part 1) it feels consistent thematically and sonically.

Digging: Leprous - Pitfalls

McTime50
October 22nd 2019


965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

both albums are pretty cool ya

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2019


10615 Comments


It's been one hell of an end to the year, may it continue through December!


Just another reminder that this year isn't quite over folks. There's a lot in this review that makes me want to check this out, especially in "dirty rock grooves and swelling vocal hooks".

Tell me straight Sow. Am I gonna dig this?

GhostB1rd
October 22nd 2019


4440 Comments


Sowing do you rate anything under a 4 these days?

Happy boi.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2019


10615 Comments


Sowing do you rate anything under a 4 these days?


shots fired haha.

Ashtiel
October 22nd 2019


809 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just noticed the album art is using an outdated mockup, anyone care to change that? I kept getting a "duplicate key" error.

Nuggets611
October 22nd 2019


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Neptune is the stand-out track here, for me.

PistolPete
October 22nd 2019


5047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree Part 1 was a lot less punchy and was more experimental, but...are people forgetting “White Onions” was on that? That song shreds!

McTime50
October 22nd 2019


965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what if they just took the best parts of each album and only made one body of work





SowingSeason
Moderator
October 22nd 2019


32733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4 | Sound Off

"Good review. My favorites are Wash Off, Into the Surf, and Neptune. I wasn't as impressed overall, Part 1 and this are my least favorite Foals albums, even though they are well made/produced and pretty fun to listen to. TLF is their best and one of my favorite albums of the decade."

My favorites are Neptune, Black Bull, 10,000 Ft., Wash Off, and The Runner - probably in that order. I have listened to TLF maybe 5 times this year and still don't quite understand the hype surrounding it, so with that said this is actually my favorite Foals album at the moment, followed by Holy Fire.



"I haven't given Part 2 as many listens as I'd like considering my unhealthy anticipation for it, but it could potentially just surpass Part 1 for me, even though "Syrups" is a very tough act to follow."

Keep giving it time and attention. This is so much better than Part 1, and I loved Syrups, but there's at least 4 songs here better than it.



"Probably my favorite album of theirs. As a standalone is excellent and as a whole body of work (with Part 1) it feels consistent thematically and sonically."

Agreed 100%. This is my favorite Foals album too, at least for now.



"Just another reminder that this year isn't quite over folks. There's a lot in this review that makes me want to check this out, especially in 'dirty rock grooves and swelling vocal hooks'.

Tell me straight Sow. Am I gonna dig this?"

Eh, I think my description is relative to Part 1 and not the dirtiest of rock in general. I don't think this will be heavy enough for your taste, but it might be worth giving it a go anyway. Check the embedded track and if you like it then go from there.



"Sowing do you rate anything under a 4 these days?

Happy boi."

I do, I just rarely review it. Typically my week starts like this: I make the weekly releases blog post, and sample different albums as I create it. When something grabs me, I give it a full listen. If I like it a lot, then I'll review it. I tend not to put the effort into something I don't enjoy, unless it's on the rare occasion where I'm feeling particularly humorous such as that Imagine Dragons review.



"Neptune is the stand-out track here, for me."

Absolutely the masterpiece here, out of both installments.



"I agree Part 1 was a lot less punchy and was more experimental, but...are people forgetting “White Onions” was on that? That song shreds!"

I love White Onions. In fact I like Part 1 a little more than my review probably lets on, it's a solid 3.5, but it's just too inconsistent and poppy for me.



"what if they just took the best parts of each album and only made one body of work"

I'm actually working on this playlist as we speak, ha.

ProjectFreak
October 22nd 2019


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh wow, I was sort of expecting a disappointment after only mildly enjoying Part 1. Definitely going to spin this amidst my Jimmy Eat World replays

Icebloom
October 22nd 2019


101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Liked this after a first listen, it's probably stronger than Part 1. Neptune is awesome. Never expected them to make a song reaching the 10-minute mark.

Pikazilla
October 22nd 2019


6482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Both parts rule. Great stuff.

Point1
October 22nd 2019


744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gave this a listen, didn't hit me as hard as the first one. It's very Foalsy but any of those songs could have been on any of their last four records. I think they gotta change things up.



"Neptune" especially was just incredibly boring to me and absolutely did not earn its 10 minute run town.

dmathias52
October 22nd 2019


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kind of surprised this was liked more than Pt. 1. There's nothing memorable hear for me. Everything sounds so similar, whereas Pt. 1 at least had some dance-y vibes

Digging: Keaton Henson - Six Lethargies

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 22nd 2019


32733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4 | Sound Off

I guess it's a style preference. For me, dance-y vibes is in no way better than the sort of varied and imaginative rock we receive here.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2019


18882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I find Part 1 better, feels more inspired and goes slightly farther with trying some experimental things.



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