- Audio CD (11 Feb. 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: WARNER BROS
- ASIN: B00A18KCSQ
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 600 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The third studio album from British indie band Foals, Holy Fire was produced in North London and features the single "Inhaler".
Foals’ moniker made perfect sense in the mid-00s. Their early singles were spindly affairs, capable of kicking out but occasionally awkward of movement. The Oxford five-piece swiftly suffered restrictive pigeonholing: “math-rockers” never had much of a chart-busting ring to it.
So much buzz and hype – enough to drown most bands. But Foals’ debut, 2008’s Antidotes, held firm against any backlash, and 2010’s Total Life Forever successfully expanded their palette of (largely leftfield) influences. A Mercury Prize nomination was just reward.
Today, they’re less a fumbling creature finding its feet and more the tremendous elephant in the live room - truly, they've become a huge-sounding proposition. Foals were already a mainstream presence; now, they’ve made an album properly reflecting that status. Arena tours should await them.
Holy Fire’s lead tracks, Inhaler and My Number, comprise tone-setters for this slickly realised set, which focuses on instant-click compositions over consciousness-creepers. That both sound enormous may have everything to do with Alan Moulder and Flood’s production – and if not, their presence can’t have hurt.
These insights into a more traditional rock aesthetic are ultimately catalogue highs. They showcase the right manner of group maturity, embracing the core of today’s commercial rock market while retaining traces of trademark twitchiness. It’s a perverse progression: two steps backwards to leap into an unwritten future.
Late Night is a slow-burner that brilliantly erupts in its final third. Of similar design is Milk & Black Spiders, which will be a standout moment of the band’s live set when it, too, bursts with intoxicating vibrancy at its climax, strings rushing into the mix. Stepson and Moon are more delicate affairs, sequenced to impress considerably at the album’s end.
Yannis Philippakis’ lyricism could be dizzyingly cryptic before, but here he’s focusing on identifiable themes: love, friendship, distance, travel. Metaphors are less messy, the language streamlined. He sings with tenderness when necessary, and has developed a satisfyingly gruff roar, best employed on Inhaler.
Holy Fire is somewhat hamstrung by Bad Habit, a peculiar hybrid of The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition and Mumford & Sons. It lacks the singular spark that makes this band’s best cuts stand boldly from the crowd. Prelude, too, will likely lose the battle against the skip button.
But such quibbles are minor. The kids – which Foals were at their outset – have grown up splendidly. You might say they’ve become a true thoroughbred outfit, if such linguistic horseplay was your thing.
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Top Customer Reviews
Immediately disappointed that CD is not the 'Live' tracks featured on the DVD. A previous effort I recall having this format was Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto album which included the live version of songs.
Don't get me wrong, I adore Foals and have seen them live so many times. And off the back of this, I would have loved to have seen a set list including live sets of Red Sock Pugie, Balloons and Spanish Sahara. I already have Holy Fire and so to find out that I had bought the album again when I already have it left me annoyed.
Holy Fire though, is an OUTSTANDING album...would have preferred the live recordings on this occasion.
Rating the content, I would definitely recommend this to any of my friends that are in to this sort of music.
From beautiful songs that just wash over you, to tracks that make you want to jump around like a teenager on Haribo, the album has great range.
Had the pleasure of seeing them at Bristol in March, this is a band who enjoy what they do - and it shows
By the way if you get chance, go and see Foals, they are actually much better live - a real class act.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant album. I only found it by chance when I was listening to an album on YouTube. After that had finished this album started playing. I thought "this is good". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. Robert J. Brisley
Stunning. Best album of it's decade and there's still a few years to go!Published 4 months ago by Elliot C.
Unexpectedly came across this album on Spotify a couple of years ago and have been listening ever since. Read morePublished 4 months ago by George