Foster the People is back. Catapulted into fame with singles such as the beat-driven Pumped Up Kicks from their first album Torches (2011), the band has finally produced a new album.
Released in March 2014, Supermodel conveys the band’s subtly shifting musical style over the past three years. With songs such as Ask Yourself, Are You What You Wanna Be, and The Truth, the album is somewhat reflective of front man Mark Foster’s own personal journey in the music industry. The music itself still has the laidback, almost summertime-like vibe to it that helped make the band popular, yet there is something different about the music in comparison to their past songs. There is an energetic, lively presence backed by more use of multiple techno undertones and bass guitar (Best Friend) rather than the heavier, dubstep-like sounds in their earlier songs, such as Helena Beat.
Interspersed with the pulsating liveliness in the album are also a few mellower, more acoustic songs – mainly Goats in Trees, Nevermind, and Fire Escape. Relying more on Foster’s guitar playing rather than electronic additions or symphonies, both songs have a somewhat nostalgic, sentimental feel to them. One of my favorite songs on the album was Fire Escape, a significantly stripped down song consisting of only Foster and his guitar.
Overall, I thought the album was amazing and I really enjoyed listening to it (multiple times). Specific songs that I placed on repeat were Nevermind and Best Friend, as I felt they were perfect examples of songs that captured their musical styles in 2011 and now. In truth, I am a Foster the People fan, however, so I may be somewhat biased. I think that some of the songs in the album may sound similar to each other after a while, but I feel that most people will find multiple songs in the album that stand out to them. The band itself, undergoing shifts and changes in their style (as every musical artist does) are still definitely the same band that appealed to so many a few years back, so fans hooked by their former album should not be worried. Foster the People is definitely still alive and well after these past three years, and I highly recommend listening to their latest album.