Album Review: Foster the People – Torches

By on Wednesday, 8th June 2011 at 2:00 pm

Can you already feel the heat approaching? (Sorry to those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s, er, cold.) It’s about the middle of 2011 now and I think it’s safe to conclude that summer this year will be filled with a load of energetic electronic music. Leading the trend is trio Foster the People from Los Angeles, with their debut album ‘Torches’ dropping later this month.

Before giving the album a listen, I must say that I’ve already fallen deeply in love with their EP, featuring the three hits ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, ‘Helena Beats’ and ‘Houdini’. The other 7 songs on the album differ so much from their EP tracks, but still are very up to their high standard.

‘Call It What You Want’ is an uberfun track. It feels like walking into a tropical party held in the middle of a rainforest, and everyone’s dancing to this song. The piano on this song is also very bouncy and dynamic, which adds to its quirkiness. I have heard rather polarising opinions on the next song that follows, ‘Don’t Stop’. Some hate it and some love it (kind of like marmite, I suppose?) I’m on the love side. It acts as a ‘neutraliser’ on the album in my opinion, for it is less synth-based as compared to the other tracks on ‘Torches’. It’s a very bubbly song – perfect to kickstart a mesmerising Monday.

Moving on to the later part of the album, ‘Miss You’ is rather a letdown. The transition from the verses to the chorus is a little bit awkward. In contrary, the last track ‘Warrant’ is really the icing on the cake. Thought you’ve had a really enjoyable 33 minutes of synth-filled music? ‘Warrant’ is there to surprise. Foster the People really know how to leave the best till the end. Being the longest track on the album, it has a relatively long intro which slowly progresses into a jam of drums, bass and piano. ‘Warrant’ gives the album a very neat ending and a sweet aftertaste.

In a whole, ‘Torches’ is an album of fun. Despite ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ being about a homicidal teenager, it doesn’t diminish the fun that lies in the music. It’s a smart call that the album is released in June, so there’s enough time for people to know the songs well enough for some constant blasting to take place in summer.


‘Torches’ by Foster the People drops in the UK on 27 June, but it’s already out in America.

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