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An Intriguing Collection
on 25 March 2014
Supermodel is the second studio album from the indie-pop-rock crossover band Foster The People.
The new album follows the success of their 2011 début Torches. Opinions aside for the moment, those looking for a second 'Torches' will be left wanting. Not to say that this record doesn't have its unashamedly pop moments ('Coming of Age', 'Are You What You Want to Be') but 'Supermodel' take a significant detour towards a more eclectic sound.
And no doubt this was fully intentional. Head man Mark Foster intended this record to be more 'gritty' and that it certainly is having been produced on the road during their 2012 tour in a portable studio. The record dips into various rock influences intended to extend as far back 'the kinks' and 'the clash' but actually stomping on more recent ground i.e. Thom Yorke ('Goats in Trees') and The Killers ('The Truth'). In fact often its very easy to forget what band you are listening to.
Lyrically the album deals with the (clichéd) "ugly side of capitalism". Infused into the music after the music was created (i.e. in a two stage process) the words often sit uncomfortably with the sound. But where the lyrics fail the music certainly excels. I bet you never expected Foster The People to produce a truly great track like 'Goats in Trees'.
The most exciting thing about this album is that the after scratching away the pop façade created by 'Torches', Mark Foster et al. have exposed a fascinating underbelly that shows intermittent signs of brilliance. This is not a 5* album but there are many outros and a few singular tracks that hint at a promising future. The album has already split critics and fans / but in my mind this a positive step forward. In searching for the best summary of the album I couldn't top the comment made by Q magazine in that this is an "album of transition rather than a definitive statement".
Listen to: 'Ask Yourself', 'Nevermind', 'Goats in Trees', 'Fire Escape'