Foals: Total Life Forever

Categories: Nothing Not New
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Artist: Foals
Title: Total Life Forever
Release date: June 22
Label: Sub Pop

Though I disagree with a commenter on one of my posts this week (Shawn from excellent local music blog Electric Mustache) about the merits of electro-punk Sleigh Bells, I agree with him that S.B. are a band that you either love or you hate. And that may be their greatest asset -- at least you can't ignore them.

In that sense, Foals falls short. It took every bit of concentration I had to care one bit about this British buzz band. I listened to it three times, hoping something would click. Instead, trying to absorb the music was like what I imagine those people on the record cover are experiencing: being underwater, slightly disoriented, seeking the surface of the water and the literal breath of relief that comes with breaking the surface. 
I tried and I tried to like this music and its suddenly and oddly outdated-sounding indie-rock sensibilities. Sure, there are meticulous arrangements and some often-impressive performances and even some very danceable beats, but none of that can make up for the fact that the material is eminently forgettable. There are simply a lot of bands out there that don't sound too terribly different from Foals. I'm sure there are someone hidden treasures in Total Life Forever that more patient music listeners may discover, really, who has the time for that anymore? Do you?
Best song: "Total Life Forever"
Rotation: Low
Deja vu: Too many indie bands too name in this space.
I'd rather listen to: The most recent Broken Social Scene record.
Grade: D+

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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