Album Review – Foster the People, “Torches”

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Megan Purazrang
WCB Music Writer


Foster the People
Torches
Released – May 23, 2011
Producers – Paul Epworth,
Greg Kurstin, Rich Costey,
Tony Hoffer, Mark Foster
Label – Columbia, Startime

The first time “Pumped Up Kicks” played it was impressionable almost instantly. The catchy beat and repetitive lyrics brought it easy popularity. It was the perfect single to introduce the debut album labeled Torches, and created a strong formation for the band Foster the People. The members consist of Mark Foster, Mark Pontius, and Cubbie Fink. They formed together in 2009, and produced this record with Greg Kurstin in Los Angeles, California where the band first formed.

The album carries an authenticity and a sense of genuine meaning lyrically speaking, through each of its ten tracks. The defining metric beat of the drums is the main driving device of their music; making percussion is without a doubt the positive attribution at hand.  “Helena Beats,” starts the record off on an upbeat rhythm and leads into songs that show the short range of the bands musical talent. Foster’s uniquely higher pitched voice overlays the back-drop providing texture. The song “Waste” is a bittersweet tune that holds the key to a past memory, opening up the emotions hiding, awaiting the rare occasion of requested presence. The lyrics hold an eagle-eye view of how emotions connect with life. One line reads, “You know it’s funny how freedom can make us feel contained.”  Shortly followed by the line “The truth cuts us and pulls us back up.” There is much more going on placed in the spaces between the up and down beats of its indie electro rock genre. Equally impressionable, the track “I Would Do Anything for You,” embraces the right mix of devoted heart-filled feelings and consistent rock flow. “Houdini” presents the electric feel to the extreme, and even hints if piano appear. It is one of the few tracks where Foster’s vocal style is bent. He uses a twang to change the feel of the song barely drifting far from a swing dance trend.

With that being said, the danceable fun-filled beats and vocal distortion style can only hold up for so long. The real test will be whether the future albums can hold the attention span of audiences. Just because a torch has been lit does not mean it will produce a wildfire.

Comments

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One thought on “Album Review – Foster the People, “Torches”

  1. I really like this article. Your review really captures the in depth emotion of the band &expresses the emotion within the songs.

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