Showing posts with label foster the people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foster the people. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 31, 2018 (VIDEO)

Heh, this turned out WAY more controversial than I expected... eh, it happens.

Next up, something way better than everything I'm talking about here - enjoy!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 31, 2018

You know, given how the past week has been it's been very tempting of me to just step up in here, say the Billboard Hot 100 shit itself inside out like most of the rest of this year - and let's not mince words, it's about as bad as I've seen it in the past few years - but hey, it could have been worse, right? We didn't get a full album bomb from XXXTENTACION, and while I sure as hell don't think our replacements are anything close to good, I have to keep reassuring myself with the thoughts that this could be a much more miserable experience than it is.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

video review: 'sacred hearts club' by foster the people

I honestly don't see there being much of a backlash to this review. Mostly because it's a bit later and even Foster The People fans don't seem wild about this... eh, we'll see.

No, to get the true backlash... well, stay tuned!

album review: 'sacred hearts club' by foster the people

I feel like I should like Foster The People more than I do.

And this is a feeling I've had for a long time now, probably ever since I first heard Torches and found myself severely underwhelmed. Part of it involves Mark Foster's falsetto and I don't see that factor changing much any time soon - it just grated on my nerves - or that much of the instrumentation and production felt painfully flimsy and derivative - but normally what could redeem that was the content, which was reportedly intended as a partial satire of hipster culture. And while I'm entirely for taking the piss out of an overused and increasingly gentrified stereotype, it wasn't like Foster The People convincingly held the high ground, as the satire wasn't all that sharp and the delivery felt about as smug, none of which helped the thin framing and insight. And sure, at the end of the day 'Helena Beat' is a good tune, but that doesn't save an album that's aged pretty badly.

So it was hopeful that Supermodel would be an improvement in 2014... and yeah, it was, but like with a lot of Torches it was also one of those records that built its appeal off the backs and sounds of better bands, the most obvious being Vampire Weekend and the Flaming Lips. And sure, overall there were more good songs, with 'Fire Escape' being the obvious standout, but at the same time the vocals still grated and the broader satire intended at commercial culture couldn't help but ring hollow. Again, it was an issue with the framing: Foster The People loved to present themselves as sly, winking outsiders to a broken system - immediately losing any real populism for having their own skin in the game... which has always struck me as false considering how derivative their sound is and that they've always been on a major label! 

But that review was back in 2014 and I'm assuming Patrons requesting this record didn't see it and wanted to see me take a crack at the group - now minus their bassist and promoting two touring members to the main lineup for more of a psychedelic synthpop direction on the new record. And I'm not going to say I wasn't intrigued - both The Wombats and Temples managed the pop pivot remarkably well, and maybe it might help the melodies stand out a little better or at least temper that falsetto, even if the influx of producers and songwriters didn't exactly seem promising. But hey, maybe third time's the charm, so what did we get from Sacred Hearts Club?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

video review: 'supermodel' by foster the people

Well, you asked for it.

Up next... ugh, you'll see. I'm not looking forward to it, but I might as well get it out of my system once and for all.

album review: 'supermodel' by foster the people

If you were around me talking about music in 2011, you probably heard me drop into a rant at some point about Foster The People and their big hit single 'Pumped Up Kicks'. Hell, I even reviewed their debut album back when I wrote my reviews on Facebook, and while I'm not proud of that review by any stretch, I remember the seething hatred I had for this band and everything for which they stood.

Looking back two-and-a-half years later and after a relisten to Torches, I can say this: there are worse albums. Honestly, while I still don't like 'Pumped Up Kicks' for its terrible framing, its insincere posturing, and Mark Foster's awful falsetto, it's not worth the #3 spot I gave it on my list of the Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2011. Hell, looking back on Torches as an album, it's very much of its time: a perfectly primed dose of indie pop-rock that could have only gotten airplay in 2011 thanks to the wispy production, the whistling, and the growing acceptance of that brand of indie music.

Now that's not saying Torches is a good album - it's really so painfully mediocre it hurts, mostly due to an overstuffed upper range and synth line, a lack of good guitar melody when you could hear it at all, an over-reliance on percussion and not interesting percussion at that, Mark Foster's godawful vocals, and lyrics that were trying way too hard to be self-aware and wink at the camera. I've heard people make the argument that Torches was parodying and criticizing the would-be hipsters that embraced it, but I don't buy that, half because the insincerity was way too smug, half because the lyrics weren't nearly smart or well-framed enough to justify it, and half because unlike acts like The Beastie Boys or Ke$ha, they forgot to make the music actually 'fun' for those who didn't get the joke. Instead of working on multiple levels, Torches by Foster The People didn't work at all, only leaving us 'Helena Beats' as the best song of the album.

But what proved a lot more disturbing for me was how successful and influential Foster The People were, especially in the commercially viable indie pop/rock scene. I can trace the musical and popular lineage of bands like The Neighbourhood, Bastille, Young The Giant, and even acts like Imagine Dragons - a band I actually like - to Foster The People. They ended up sparking a mainstream explosion of percussion-driven, reverb-swollen, mix-overstuffed indie electronic rock records - which is kind of hilariously ironic, because it meant that if Foster The People really were going for parody intent, nobody got the joke. And thus, I shouldn't be surprised that Foster The People were back with a new album titled Supermodel, this time with a bigger target in mind, that being consumer capitalism? I prepared myself for the worst - what did I get?