Listeners looking for a new Foster the People album with the same sound as the band’s hit single “Pumped Up Kicks” will not find what they’re looking for in the band’s newest release, Supermodel.
Impressively, Foster The People chose not to settle for a sound that would undoubtably make the top 40’s list.
Second albums for any band can be difficult; artists must try to keep old fans while also try to make new ones. But Foster The People did not succumb to the pressures surrounding them.
Instead they went with their gut, and created something new. Supermodel is a significantly more unified piece of work than their previous album, Torches.
Lead singer, Mark Foster, said that Torches was “more of a collection of songs.” The band chose to work with one producer (instead of five) this time around to produce an album that flows as a cohesive piece. There is no software synth; all electronic sounds are analog and all instruments organic. In fact, instrumentals for the songs were composed and recorded before lyrics were even written.
Another creative addition to the record is the album artwork. It was painted over the facade of a building located in Los Angeles by Young & Sick (a well-known LA-based music and arts project) with assistance from American artist Daniel Lahoda and other graffiti art groups.
The mural is nearly 100 feet tall and took only a week and a half to complete. It has taken the place of the largest mural ever created in the West Coast area of the United States.
Supermodel includes sounds from all over the world. Moroccan styles make listeners want to move. African beats underlie the opening song, “Are You What You Want To Be.” Spanish instrumentation shapes “Nevermind.” There’s even a touch of modern psychedelic style, particularly in “Pseudologia Fantastica” that almost reflects the sounds of MGMT.
Despite its light and happy feel, Supermodel contains some surprisingly darker lyrics.
Foster explained his thoughts behind the album, admitting that it contains a great deal of anger directed toward the judgmental world of music. In a documentary made about the album, Foster said that “the record itself and its artwork were created out of the idea of how our self-worth, in a modern perspective, is judged on how many ‘retweets’ or ‘likes’ we get, and our need to present ourselves like supermodels, showing others who we want them to perceive us as while hiding our real selves.”
Download this album on iTunes, and pop those headphones in. You won’t regret it.
RATING: 4/5 STARS