Foster the People has become one of the biggest names in alternative music as a result of its breakout single, “Pumped Up Kicks.” The song topped the charts, and the album “Torches” was critically acclaimed across the board. Now, three years later, Foster the People is back with a sophomore album, “Supermodel.” It’s clear that the band has aged, but the question is, have they aged well?
“Supermodel” does start strong: “Coming of Age,” the lead single, is a driving summer rock anthem. Its highlights include piano sections sprinkled throughout and the killer bass guitar solo that comes after the first verse. The second single, “Pseudologica Fantastica,” is drenched with shoegaze and psychedelic guitars and synths. This track is one of the longest on the album but has an interesting hook.
“Best Friend,” the third single, is easily one of the band’s best to date. It has a funky beat and a melody that is sure to get stuck in your head.
The best part is the choirlike layered vocals that ring out at the end of the phrases. The dark lyrics contrast with the upbeat tone artfully, making this a thoughtfully constructed pop tune.
Other notable tracks include “Are You What You Wanna Be?” – the fun opener with an African-inspired beat – and “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon,” in which the band takes a darker, heavy metal route.
On “Supermodel,” Foster the People experiments with a variety of sounds and ideas from across many genres. Because of this, though, it is hard to find links between the tracks, so the album lacks cohesion. It’s full of smart social commentary that pokes fun at capitalist consumption, but falls into the trap of mimicking other groups’ sounds and struggles to find its own identity.
That said, Foster the People delivers an album with several standout tunes that won’t make you press skip. If you enjoy fun yet thoughtful indie pop, “Supermodel” is the album for you.
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