After two years, Foster the People have finally answered our fan mail and love letters with the release of Supermodel. Because it is the band’s sophomore album, many people were skeptical of what Foster would choose to sound like next. This 11-track album doesn’t disappoint in new sounds, but has a different approach to style and hints towards their acoustic side. Many of the tracks are similar to their debut album, Torches, while some could almost be seen as a different band all together.
The opening track, “Are You What You Want To Be”, with its blazing African-sounding beat hooks you into the album. Mark Foster snags at your ears with his diverse vocals, which are notably present throughout the album. It is a strong introduction to the album by presenting the new sounds to be expected all the way to the last track.
The three singles, “Coming of Age”, “Pseudologia Fantastica”, and most recently “Best Friends”, are the most likable songs on the album. These songs are similar tracks on the album that mostly reflect the style and sounds of Torches. These three songs show the variety of Mark Foster’s vocals, the futuristic beats with a light alternative indie dance pop feel. These tracks only need one attentive listen to know that these songs hit directly in your ear’s sweet spot. However, the rest of the album may need a few more listens and even some getting used to.
Foster takes a dip into the grudge and emotes a sensitive side of their music further into the tracks, seeming to draw some influences from The Clash and Nirvana. “Goats In Trees”, “The Truth”, and “Nevermind” seem to be the less attractive tracks on the album. “Nevermind” is placed closer to the top of the album so it’s easy to play right through without a listen. Sadly, the acoustic guitar and post-modernist drum beat isn’t enough to keep interest for those who wanted a song that replicates the upbeat hits that Foster the People is known for. “Goats In Trees” and “The Truth” are closer to the end of the album and sound exhausted. Slower tempos and a weak synthesis of sounds made me want to tune out when I was approaching the end of the album. However, the closing track on the album, “Fire Escape”, wraps the album up nicely as a gentle ballad to the rescuing of young hooligans in the L.A. underworld.
To say that the album as a whole was exactly what I expected would be a lie. I didn’t love it right away, and being a huge fan of Torches, I was expecting this album to be more closely linked to their alternative dance sound. However, these acoustics sounds and emotional changes to their music show a growth in Foster’s sound and is necessary to prove they are not just another indie-pop band that reproduces their hit songs just to be successful. I am not writing this off as a failed album, but, like most sophomore albums, it is a transitional period to show how their music will move forward. Presenting this new music with a flavor of their old alternative dance sound, the album shows a maturing of their music and is a testament to the talent of the Foster trio. Overall, Foster the People’s Supermodel is successful and deserves a full listen through, at least a few times. I have a feeling this is an album that will grow on you, I know it already is growing on me.
RIYL – MGMT, Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg
Highlights- “Best Friend”, “Fire Escape”, “Ask Yourself”