Foster the People Are Back, and You're Underrating Them
Even in an age when content is absorbed, digested and rejected at an astounding rate, Torches still feels like a modern-day classic at first listen. It's one of those rare records where there's not a song to be skipped -- from the stuttering hip-shaker of opener "Helena Beat" to the grand, building closing track "Warrant," the sequencing, sometimes more than the production, is a standout element of the album.
They're able to maintain the edge of modern rock 'n' roll while bringing both world music-inspired progression and driving synth textures simultaneously. It's a rare set of sensibilities that few artists can pull together this smoothly while still being radio-ready.
Because of their quick ascent, some detractors are also quick to label Foster The People as a studio band, able to write a hell of an album but not much else. But for those who have seen the band live, Foster exudes every lovable frontman characteristic, pulling pages from the Freddie Mercury handbook with a black Fender Jaguar around his shoulders while the rest of the band engages in instrumental swapping and guitar-tossing, Pete Townshend antics.
With the impeding release of Supermodel and a run of festival dates, it's as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with Torches and get amped for their live set. If "Coming of Age" is any indication, Foster The People isn't going anywhere -- we might as well sit back and sing along with the pop tour de force they're becoming.