Its albums like Foals 'Total Life Forever' that make me pleased that musical evolution happens. Total Life Forever is such a big change its like a new band. Gone are the fresh faced dance punks, replaced by arty post rockers. Frontman Yannis no longer uses the high yelp, instead his voice echos away like someone lost at sea. Structurally the songs are better, the instrumentation is stronger, the lyrics are vividly beautiful and all the songs fit together brilliantly.
Opener 'Blue Blood' is the perfect mix of old and new. It has the bouncy rhythm and playful guitars, while still being very atmospheric with Yannis' brooding vocals. These two styles mix frequently on the album to great effect, adding so much versatility. 'Miami' is reminiscent of Talking Heads and has a wonderful beat, while single 'This Orient' is in a similar vain and has beautiful lyrics. The title track is another great catchy tune, where as songs like 'Alabaster', the eerie '2 Trees' and closer 'What Remains' are built around soft dreamy atmospheres.
However, its when Foals experiment that we get the album high points. The three songs over 6 minutes are the best. 'Black Gold' has excellent fun verses, an amazing dreamy chorus and a fantastic climax. The hit 'Spanish Sahara' starts off quietly, constantly building and creating a tense atmosphere. It suddenly comes into life with one of the best climax's in recent memory. While 'After Glow' is probably my favorite song here. It has a great sensual beat and a dreamy chorus, with some powerful vocals. Out of nowhere it goes into meltdown as the band have a psychedelic rock out with guitars screeching and drum rolls galore, its one of the most exhilarating pieces of music I've heard.
So Foals changed and really hit the mark. Everything is superb, from the song structures to instrument playing to lyrics. Total Life Forever is easily one of the strongest albums of the last few years.