Foster The People 2014

Every few years, a musician achieves that rare combination of commercial dominance and critical acclaim — and therefore inspires lots of copycats — only to willfully retreat from the spotlight. This usually involves making an album designed to alienate mainstream audiences and/or distance the originator from the imitators. It also tends to create a vacuum into which those imitators can leap, allowing them to bask in commercial success for a while until everyone stops searching for “the new _____.” Nirvana and Pearl Jam attempted this maneuver in 1993 with the abrasive In Utero and the video-free Vs. respectively, clearing the way for Stone Temple Pilots, Live, and Bush to satiate the public’s bubblegrunge hunger. When Radiohead famously muffled Thom Yorke’s heavenly falsetto and handcuffed Jonny Greenwood’s spastic six-string theatrics on 2000′s Kid A, the world had no shortage of potential “new Radioheads” to choose from. And when constant hitmaker Kanye West flipped the digital middle finger that was Yeezus last year, urban radio programmers found workable substitutes in Yeezy facsimiles such as Big Sean and J. Cole.

MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular was the sort of world-conquering unanimous favorite you rarely see anymore, an album that crossed over from alt-rock channels to produce three inescapable pop hits, each of which also cracked the Pazz & Jop critics’ poll’s top 50. (The album itself finished in the critics’ top 20.) MGMT’s psych-tinged dance-pop was everywhere — on the radio, at dance parties, in seemingly every ad on TV. But when the duo decided to muffle its formidable pop powers on 2010 follow-up Congratulations in favor of an insular psych and post-punk odyssey, there was an opportunity for MGMT clones to run rampant on the pop charts. Some of them (Empire Of The Sun) were more palatable than others (Capital Cities). Some (STRFKR) took over for MGMT in the TV sync department but couldn’t replicate their chart success; others (Portugal. The Man) broke at alternative radio but couldn’t crack the top 40. You could make a good case that Oracular Spectacular paved the way for the embrace of Passion Pit and Vampire Weekend beyond their original niche audience. But no one seized the post-MGMT moment quite like Foster The People.

Mark Foster was literally writing commercial jingles for a living when he concocted “Pumped Up Kicks,” an incandescent morsel of programming department catnip that became for 2011 what “Time To Pretend,” “Electric Feel,” and “Kids” were for 2008. It was expertly engineered to dominate that marginally psychedelic, synth-driven pop-rock niche that MGMT had vacated, all the way down to its nonsensical lyrics about children. Peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 singles chart, “Pumped Up Kicks” was a pop cultural money train that even Foster’s historically awkward SNL stage presence couldn’t derail. (To be genealogically fair, “Pumped Up Kicks” also leaned heavily on the breezy lightness of Peter Bjorn And John’s whistlin’ wonder “Young Folks,” another song you could run from but couldn’t hide from at the height of indie gentrification.) Alas, the song also marked Foster The People as a surefire one-hit wonder. Torches, the eminently acceptable album anchored by “Pumped Up Kicks,” yielded four other singles, but only one of them cracked the Hot 100 singles chart. That song, “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls),” only made it to #86.

If you can remember Foster The People’s second performance on SNL at all, you’re more likely to remember that Kenny G joined them than you are to recall which song they played. (That’d be “Houdini,” a song that lived up to its name by quickly disappearing from radio playlists without a trace.) Still, on the strength of “Pumped Up Kicks” alone, Foster The People became a name brand bankable enough to pack 5,000-capacity venues and appear near the top of the Coachella poster on the same line as commercial powerhouses such as Pharrell, Lorde, Skrillex, and Queens Of The Stone Age (and above MGMT, incidentally). Thus, now comes Supermodel, a sophomore album carrying a weight of expectations it can’t possibly begin to shoulder.

Like Torches before it, Supermodel is sleek, shiny, and professional in every way. That state-of-the-art veneer is no doubt partially due to the continued involvement of British producer Paul Epworth, who got his start producing mid-aughts dance-punk blokes like Bloc Party and the Futureheads then ascended the ranks until Adele’s 21 made him one of pop’s most in-demand guiding lights. Epworth is now the guy you bring in if, like U2, you’re a rock band vying to be a commercial powerhouse in a climate when almost no rock bands pull that kind of weight. “I promised I would rid the world of feral animals,” Foster sings on the surprisingly shoegazey “Pseudologia Fantastica,” but Epworth is just as likely the one shaving down the teeth here.

And you can be sure that Supermodel is an album without bite, one built to placate the lowest common denominator and keep Foster swimming in licensing money. That’s not to say it lacks ideas. When Foster isn’t directly milking the old MGMT sound on tracks like “Nevermind” and “Best Friend,” he does experiment here and there. “A Beginner’s Guide To Destroying The Moon” borrows Clams Casino’s beat from A$AP Rocky’s “LVL,” but the song Foster builds on top of it is even more of a slog than Rocky’s. “Goats In Trees” is a uniquely bleary ballad haunted by stirring ghostly samples, but also by Foster’s less than stellar vocal performance. The Beatlesesque choral arrangement on the interlude “The Angelic Welcome Of Mr. Jones” is beautiful but fleeting, and a stab at replicating Vampire Weekend’s pan-global pop-rock on opener “Are You What You Want To Be?” turns out better than it has any right to. Only the aforementioned shoegaze turn on “Pseudologia Fantastica” suggests a fascinating way forward, but even that could pass for a hazy rewrite of “Weekend Wars.”

But Foster is far better at setting a mood than he is at writing timeless pop songs. He can keep deploying his trusty “Electric Feel” gang vocals to shroud his own vocal weaknesses (and on the grating “Ask Yourself,” he really should have), but all those voices can’t hide the absence of a melody as indelible as “Pumped Up Kicks.” Thus, he ends up with singles like “Coming Of Age,” a ditty with all the ingratiating propulsion of “Kicks” but no substance to latch onto. It stalled out short of the Hot 100 and feels more like arrested development than a coming of age. The main difference between timeless pop music and soulless product is a genuine spark of inspiration, and that tends to run out when you’re riding someone else’s coattails. The artists that manage to get out of somebody else’s shadow are the ones who find their own identities — say what you want about Muse, but don’t say they sound like Radiohead anymore. Foster The People make some half-hearted attempts at such reinvention on Supermodel, but mostly they sound like they’re trying their hardest to be the band MGMT is doing their damnedest not to be.

CHART WATCH

Today is the vernal equinox, and I’d say it’s time for some spring cleaning on the charts. Pharrell’s “Happy” remains our nation’s #1 single for a fourth straight week with no fresh competition anywhere near the top of the Hot 100. As Billboard notes, Pharrell’s most serious challenger is Soko’s two-year-old “We Might Be Dead Tomorrow,” which enters the chart at #9 on the strength of that corny and controversial “First Kiss” video that was all over Facebook recently. There’s last year’s streaming rules change rearing its head again. Also entering the top 10 is Aloe Blacc’s execrable “The Man,” up from #12 to #10. Familiar tunes by Katy Perry, John Legend, Jason DeRulo, Bastille, Lorde, OneRepublic, and Beyoncé continue to populate the rest of the singles chart’s top 10.

The albums chart isn’t quite as static, but it’s still rather depressing given that not a single album could muster up six figures this week. The Frozen soundtrack returns to #1 this week, moving 99,000 copies and becoming the first album to sell a million in 2014. (Including 2013 sales figures, the soundtrack’s overall tally stands at 1.4 million.) Billboard reports that this is Frozen’s sixth nonconsecutive week at #1. New entires in the top 5 include noted truck enthusiast Luke Bryan, whose Spring Break 6 … Like We Ain’t Ever EP sold 74,000 copies for a #2 debut, and Aloe Blacc, whose Lift Your Spirit logged 45,000 in sales for a #4 debut. Also debuting in the top 10: reggae-rockers 311′s Stereolithic at #6, top-heavy rap crew Young Money’s Rise Of An Empire compilation at #7, and country singer Sara Evans’s Slow Me Down at #9. The top 10 also includes Rick Ross, Pharrell, Lorde, and Eric Church.

Here’s a fascinating note from the alternative chart: Kongos, the band of South African brothers, tried pushing their single “Come With Me Now” for three years with no success, but the accordion-laden rock shout-along scored the fastest-rising top 10 alternative hit since Lorde’s “Royals” thanks to some late-breaking radio love. Billboard has the full story, but I’d just like to take this moment to lament that a bro-friendly banger like “Come With Me Now” qualifies as alternative. What is “Come With Me Now” if not a blatant grab for the pop charts? I’m sure Kongos will be there soon enough.

TRACK CITY

Calvin Harris – “Summer”
Oldest trick in the book: Release a song about summer just when the winter is starting to melt away. You can be assured that “Summer” will be unavoidable for the next 6-8 months. Is that a bad thing? Not if you’ve accepted that we’re still going to have to put up with boilerplate EDM breakdowns in the middle of our factory-issue seasonal pop hits this year. Harris is crafty enough to make the less bombastic verse portions of his songs undeniably vibrant, so while this is no “Summertime Sadness” where summer EDM singles are concerned — and no “We Found Love” where Calvin Harris summer jams are concerned — it’ll do if nothing better comes along.

Neon Jungle – “Welcome To The Jungle”
This one has jock jam written all over it, partially because it seems to have borrowed liberally from stadium staple “Zombie Nation.” That’s not so bad because it puts a pleasingly ominous new spin on the boilerplate arena-pop sound. If Neon Jungle is the new Spice Girls, as Idolator implies, I’m excited to hear what their answer to “Say You’ll Be There” will sound like.

Kylie Minogue – “Sexercise”
IMO Kylie shouldn’t be making songs that sound like low-budget Britney Spears, but she’s getting way more attention for this song’s racy video and gimmicky website than she did for the vastly superior “Into The Blue,” so what do I know?

Allie X – “Prime”
Allie X’s previous single, “Catch,” won rave reviews from the pop blogosphere and Katy Perry. Her latest, “Prime,” doesn’t pull off the Chvrches impression as convincingly as “Catch,” but it’s further evidence that Allie is a new pop act worth paying attention to.

Sia – “Chandelier”
Chorus of the year contender right here. I’d be up there swinging with Sia right now if I only had a chandelier.

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • iTunes is reportedly gearing up for another Beyoncé-style surprise album release — for whom? [Popjustice]
  • Eminem and Rihanna are going “on tour” i.e. playing three shows together. [Rolling Stone]
  • There are some seriously striking photos of Solange in the new Harper’s interview this week. [Harper's Bazaar]
  • John Mayer is suing his celebrity watch dealer for selling him fakes. [Billboard]
  • Madonna dressed up as Game Of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen for Purim. [Vulture]
  • Kelly Rowland quietly parted ways with her label last December, allegedly by her own request. [Always A-List]
  • Curious to see what kind of music the rekindled Drake/Rihanna romance produces seeing as the flirty “What’s My Name?” and the wistful “Take Care” are both motherfucking unimpeachable. [Vibe]
  • Drizzy has been showing off some new music behind the scenes lately. [E!]
  • Katy Perry seems to be back in the studio too. [Popdust]
  • The lines between mainstream and underground have blurred so much that even One Direction is releasing a limited-edition 7-inch for Record Store Day, and the cover art is pretty funny. [Idolator]
  • Here’s what Lady Gaga’s stage show will look like on her upcoming tour. [Twitter]
  • Miley Cyrus got the crying kitten emoji tattooed on her inner lip. [Complex]

HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME

Speaking of emojis…

[Foster The People photo by Darren Ankenman.]

Comments (86)
  1. I don’t care what anyone says, I really like that track, “Houdini.”

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      • I think you meant, “the truest way of breaking bands and building audience [if your label can afford to pay out DJs and you’re willing to slog through a few dozen station-exclusive concerts each year… otherwise we’ll see if we can’t get ya on a Target commercial.”

        • Also, pretty much everyone busts on Arcade Fire for their lyrics and “Normal Person” in particular probably took more flack on that front than any other song off “Reflektor,” except maybe “Porno.” But subtle lyricism has never been rock’s strong suit. “Normal Person” conveys its point with the same blunt force of the song’s killer guitar riff (though, FWIW, if you don’t think there’s anything tongue in cheek about a song with lyrics like “they take their tea at two, all the normal people” or that ends its criticism of the normal people with “I’ve never really ever met a normal person” … well, maybe you shouldn’t be the one evaluating people’s lyrics, that’s all).

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          • Dansolo (more like Dumloco),
            Take the voice thing. This writer is al lover Foster’s jock for his “vocal weaknesses” etc. Common complaint about foster. But his voice is def. better than Win Butler’s. Sounds just as bad or even better. But you never read complaints about Arcade Fire vocals. Why? Because criticism is not based on an attempt to apply common criteria but simply an attempt to express ideas of coolness. It’s ridiculous. Foster here is being taken down for not writing another pump up the kicks. If that was a sin, why isn’t this guy taking down Arcade Fire for failing to ever get close to Funeral??? The fact is, it is no sin, but this writer is just making up criteria to complain and condemn, he’s not complaining and condemning because these criteria have led him to dislike the band. Meanwhile Coldplay gets called great for simply writing a competent album that doesn’t seem to have any brutally slow-mocing lyrical disasters. How fair!

  2. Foster the People are so depressing, they’re trying so hard to not be a one hit wonder but no amount of effort can possibly prevent it.

  3. Can we discuss one of the more troubling news bits out of the pop world this week where some 2012 song by something called Soko used in that annoying viral video about the “strangers” kissing — you know, the your boring high school friends probably shared on facebook because they were easily tricked into think it was all real aside from the fact that everyone in it was white, attractive, in shape and not at all a contrived fashion label idea — is now a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit? What a joke…

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  5. i mostly can’t stand FTP, but Helena Beat effs my shit up

  6. “…Paul Epworth, who got his start producing mid-aughts dance-punk blokes like Bloc Party and the Futureheads…”

    *Wikis Futureheads & Bloc Party debut albums*

    SO THAT’S WHY they both had phenomenal debuts and dropped off afterwards. I never realized Epworth produced The Futureheads (FINALLY got it on vinyl a few weeks ago) and guess I should’ve remembered he helped with Silent Alarm.

    Thanks for the epiphany Chris!

    • I contend the second Bloc Party album is superior to the first. /unpopularopinion

    • Yeah, I had the same epiphany while writing this!

    • You can argue Bloc Party, since they still experienced moderate success (read: festival line-up slots) after “Silent Alarm”

      The Futureheads, however, dropped the fuck off. They were on the MAIN stage at Coachella in 2005 playing right before Gang of Four. Rightfully so, their debut album was/is FIRE. Incredible. One of my favorites. But I didn’t even follow them far past one listen of “News & Tributes”. Festivals didn’t really seem to either follow them either.

      Seeing them live in ’05 performing their self-titled debut though? Still one of the more memorable concerts I’ve attended. Those men can harmonize. Sort of a shame too because that first album is so. fucking. good.

      • Right there with you on that first Futureheads album. Masterpiece status.

      • I didn’t follow them past their first either–which I was in love with at the time. I always attributed their disappearance to my changing tastes, but you’ve put it in a new light here. Another band that I listened a lot to at that same time is the French Kicks.

      • Not trying to hate because I also wanted to like the Futureheads but it is always a little worrying when your signature song is a cover. Though slightly less worrying when it’s a GREAT cover of a GREAT song.

    • Excited to hop in on this one, mostly because no one talks about how GREAT that debut Futureheads album was anymore, but Silent Alarm and Futureheads were both impeccable debut albums by seemingly endlessly talented bands whose subsequent output displayed the law of diminishing returns to an unbelievable degree. Just two of the oughts’ many disappointing bands who fell off of creative cliffs I guess.

  7. Sorry to get all music biz, but what exactly is FTP’s demographic? They only had one hit but fill stadiums and headline festivals, so they’re obviously appealing to someone, but who? Teens, college radio, pitchfork readers with poptimist bent?

    • soccer moms

    • Alternative Rock, as in the radio format. I work for a streaming music platform, and program FTP on our Alternative Rock stations, and taking a look, their songs consistently get 4+ ratings (out of 5.)

    • They’re appealing to high school/college age girls (and guys too) that have never got into indie but want something “alt” to listen to while still catering to their pop inclinations. Which is a tonne of people that I know.
      See also: Muse, Mumford, MGMT, AWOLNATION.

      • Truth. I once heard an airhead teenage girl talking to her friends: “OMGGGG Sarah is like such a hipster she listens to weird stuff like Foster the Children or something like that!”

      • You know what; I absolutely LOVE Torches, AWOLNATION and Oracular Spectacular, alongside Passion Pit and even EoS’s first album.

        Not because I haven’t “gotten into indie”, simply because I like me some catchy as hell pop music.

  8. Re: that Kylie video, I didn’t know girls were into, you know, other girls??? SHOCKING!

  9. jloo  |   Posted on Mar 20th +3

    Minor correction, but the Rihanna/Drake collaboration you’re referring to is “What’s My Name?” and not “Say My Name,” which, while similarly unimpeachable, is a Destiny’s Child song. (To which Drake not-coincidentally paid homage in “Girls Love Beyoncé” but I digress.)

  10. Wait a second, what did Empire of the Sun do to anybody? Before MGMT broke out, they were in Pnau and released the truly awesome “Embrace” featuring Ladyhawke, which is one of the best dance songs of the ’00s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pnau

    • Yes. Also, how did Portugal, The Man get mixed up in this business. By all accounts they had quite a few albums out before MGMT stopped being Management and actually made music.

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    • And.

    • I don’t see what’s so bad about the AF performance. I feel like the small stage & bad mixing is a bigger problem than anyone’s vocals, but who cares because everyone know’s they’re a powerhouse live act. And when they made their SNL debut doing “Keep the Car Running” it was pretty great!

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      • yo dansolo, check out hogg’s comment below it’s spot-on. You know you listen to “Porno” there are like twnety words like “oh” and “so” inserted at end of lines simply to make things rhyme. It’s just pure shoddy hackwork. But no one criticized that at all. Meanwhile, this writer of this piece takes this snide attitude toward a perfectly coherent piece of lyric writing that does not really on adding “oh” and “so” to the end of every line simply to rhyme every sixth syllable. It’s pure discrimination. Not only is he applying a double standard here, he’s not even applying the corrupt indie machine double standard technique correctly–the lyric did make perfect sense.

        It’s just sad that we live in such prejudicial and unfair times.

        Indie is dead.

        The internet moment is passed. It’s devolved in classic yellow journalism.

  14. Music inspires music. It’s not a bad thing to be inspired by a great album and make another album in the same general ballpark. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people write off an album because it sounds similar to another artist and just say “oh it’s another MGMT ripoff”. Also, I do not care about where singles land on the chart.

    In regard to the music:
    I didn’t hear the first album when it first came out at all, it wasn’t until a year and a half after it came out that I heard it, i was shocked that such a catchy and good album slipped by me. I think thats a great album from beginning to end. The second half of “Broken Jaw”, the closer, gets me every time. I had little expectations going into this album though, I just wasn’t very optimistic that they could replicate their success. After listening to the new record about 5 times, I would say that it exceeds my low expectations and I enjoy it. While there are no surefire catchy hits like Helena or Pumped Up Kicks, the whole thing is an enjoyable listen with some very good parts.

    • I don’t event hink it’s a ripoff. Stereogum is just corrpt and pursuing its babies. MGMT’s second album was serious early Floyd inspired, but Stereogum doesn’t say it’s a pathetic attempt to fill void left by the end of the 60′s….

      sophism

  15. I would dance around on stage like Mark Foster if I had the moves. And if I performed music.

  16. Nita, Who’s ripping off who: Phoenix vs. Foster the People. Don’t they sound almost exactly the same? I think Phoenix is more authentic…your thoughts?

    • Who’s ripping off who? Well, let’s see, Phoenix released their first single in 1999 so I think you can file that under “obvious.” And they put out “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” their US breakthrough with most of their know singles, in 2009, the same year that FtP formed.

      • yeah I agree. FTP is mad ripping off Phoenix. And Bon Iver is ripping off COldp[lay. Coldplay’s been around since 2000 whereas Bon Iver is newer. Bon Iver soudns mad like Coldplay’s latest stuff.

    • I don’t feel they have the same sound. I’ve tried getting into Phoenix, listening to most of their records, but I just can’t

      • I like this recent one it has some good hits. They write very solid songs but I feel like they have the whole singer’s voice issue like Foster the People.

  17. Am I the only one that actually enjoyed this album? I find it to be a major improvement over Torches (which was mostly ok filler).

    • My wife and I love Supermodel. For weeks, we’ve been switching back and forth between it and Lost in the Dream. It’s really strange to me that two great albums can get such vastly different reactions. One is derivative of MGMT and ’80s pop, while the other is derivative of Springsteen, Knopfler and Seger — and yet one is panned while the other is labeled as one of the best albums of 2014. For those of us who like both, it’s saddening.

  18. If you think Portugal. The Man is an MGMT ripoff there’s no saving you.

  19. I really like how, 7 months after the show, the MTV VMA photo slideshow with miley and robin thicke in the thumbnail is always in the “you might also like” area in the bottom of this column. Miley’s tongue is ingrained in y’all memories

  20. “…all the way down to its nonsensical lyrics about children.”

    If you couldn’t gather that “Pumped Up Kicks” is about a neglected kid who decides to shoot up his school, then you might want to reconsider writing anything – ever.

    • This needs comment needs more than a “thumbs up”. It needs acknowledgement from the author.

    • “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun.
      All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run faster than my bullet.” —Ha

  21. I’m not a fan of Foster the People by any means, but seriously all of what your saying can basically be summed up with, “I don’t think they’re cool.” Saying that a song they wrote is better than it deserves to be just shows how bias you are in approaching their music. Also, Portugal the Man are in no way a MGMT copycat and in fact have been releasing music from before MGMT was even a thing.

    • Oscar is right. It’s the corrupt indie machine, handing how praise without basis and condemning without basis.

    • I think the consensus is that Foster the People is a water thin formulaic approach to music. They write commercialized, homogenized ”safe” music that has no bite. It’s very easy to dismiss music like that.

      • you’re probably right but that doesn’t mean it’s bad music or poorly done or unworthy. The thing I don’t like is that the indie machine praises indie credible bands for stuff that exhibits a very low degree of art and even effort while tearing down someone like Foster on the grounds of the very elements that he actually does way way better than many indie bands. It’s just prejudice.

        Your criticism about “safe” and “homogenized” music is a fair one but the stereogum machine chooses to attack him on completely different grounds and they even get that wrong.

        The thing is: indie cred only goes so far. Taste depends on other things like the quality of the music, the melody, the lyrics, the artistry, the whole package etc.

        Stereogum should at least give him credit for the artistry even as it chooses to tear him down for his lack of indie cred and other more airy issues.

        In 15 years the music will speak for itself–and all the crappy image issues will weigh far less. I think good music criticism shoudl try to aim for that 15 year milepost, at least in part, rather than being all about the moment…praising what’s “cool” even when the “cool” is blatantly poorly done.

  22. Not a big fan of this Article, Stereogum. Reading the FTP/MGMT paragraphs just irked me the wrong way.

  23. Best thing Paul Epworth has ever produced is the single version of Friendly Fires’ Skeleton Boy.

  24. Portugal. The Man has been teetering on the edge of the MGMT line during their past couple of albums. But just one listen of “Lay Me Back Down” would make anyone realize they are far from a MGMT knockoff. That song hooked me from the get-go.

    I remember really enjoying Foster The People’s debut EP, which featured all the best songs from Torches. But as a full length, it’s pretty tiring. And what I’ve heard from their latest doesn’t leave me inclined to check out the whole thing.

    Anyone have any thoughts on who has a “Beyoncé style surprise album release” coming soon to iTunes? I’d put Madonna, Rihanna and Lady Gaga near the top of the list. Gaga has mentioned a Vol. II to Artpop, and we haven’t heard much from Madonna or Rihanna lately.

  25. Why don’t you have someone who actually loves pop music write the “This Week in Pop” column? Just an idea. It’s really strange to me that you added this column but spend most of its length criticizing or mocking pop music.

  26. This is a well observed article but it sadly gives in to the natural urge to generalize.

  27. I read somewhere that Mark comes off as a “moody boy” and the lyrics on this album tried too hard to sound urgent but ultimately came off as pretty trite—I’m mostly paraphrasing, by the way.

    I’m aware of the fact that Foster the People fall under the umbrella of “a band people that love to hate”, but in the defense solely of some lyrics (and catchiness), “Are You What You Want to Be?” is probably one of the most pertinent, relatable songs in the pop/alternative/whatever the fuck genre to come out thus far. Granted, it’s definitely candied. It also has some clichés, but so does everything.

  28. Big fan of the new Foster the People record, picked it up on vinyl! Especially fond of “Best Friend”.

  29. “Coming of Age” is really odd. Not good or bad, mind you, but totally anachronistic. It sounded like a MOR song from 1990 (one poised to do battle with/slot in between singles from Alannah Myles and Bad English) somehow infiltrated 2014 “Bro”-rock radio. When I realized that it was Foster The People then it all made sense. Just the wheels of idiocy turning.

  30. Sometimes I think this movie means my friend is dieting.

  31. FTP are a guilty “Brian Wilson approved” pleasure for me. I also have a thing for Fountains of Wayne and the Gin Blossoms, but don’t tell anyone.

  32. Pumped-up Kicks does not have “non-sensical lyrics.”

    It’s about a school shooting. Not surprisingly the vast majority of listeners on radio missed this part of it.

  33. I’m a big fan of the classics, and I LOVE FTP and MGMT. Both bands are extremely talented and creative. What’s funny is that the author thinks “the charts” decide what is good music. Actually, he doesn’t even say what music he would say is “better”. What is your actual opinion? This article/author comes off as a smear campaign. Oracular Spectacular, Torches, and Supermodel are up there with the best albums of all time for me. Remember, no music is completely original, it is the spark and musicality that matter. Original hooks are great, and they are plentiful in all of these albums, but great music goes beyond that. The subject mater, the lyrics, the timbre of the voice and instruments. I think I recall him saying he preferred Nine Inch Nails…with tastes like that it is no surprise he wouldn’t know good music if it slapped it’s fat dick right in his face.

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