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Stretching Limitation in Colorful Fashion: Foster the People’s Supermodel


by Charissa Lock

Blowing through my speakers and igniting bubbling positivity to course through my veins, I tapped and nodded along as Foster the People’s sophomore album propelled me to be hypnotized.  When an album rips your attention away from your surroundings and positions itself infusing a kaleidoscope of senses, you know the creators have done their job.

Many of us fell in love with Torches and most who heard “Pumped Up Kicks” couldn’t deny it’s uniquely pertinent popularity.   Desperately waiting for more from the trio, we were hesitant of their ability to reach the same potential the former album delivered.  After hearing their first released single “Coming of Age,” I continuously gnawed my fingernails unsure of what this meant for the other tracks and if it matched my previous standards.  “Pseudologia Fantastica” also left me wavering and my hopes were drifting.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/MBqzrj18S2w[/youtube]


How silly I was to question Mark Foster and his bunch.  Though “Coming of Age” remains my least favorite on the album, the multitude of explosive moments casted into every nook and cranny of Supermodel [Columbia] (Out Now! Get it HERE!) is exquisite.  Providing the boost of difference needed to move Foster the People along into a growing category and not steady out at pop-y surface beats and melodies, you instantly are aware of the multiple dimensions they possess.  Yet, unlike the MGMT multiple dimension sophomore album that was a bit of a leap into another genre….this movement is more diagonal and easier to accept as who you thought they were.  As much as it has aspects of Torches, in melody and vocals, there is also a deeper, more complicated take on individual pieces of the songs themselves.  It’s a little quirky at times, welcoming you to take in their true character and abilities, and it is in this quirkiness where you are presented with the best transitions and intoxicating introductions.

Some of the eccentric aspects feel a little Vampire Weekend-y in the sense of distinction and ability to set it apart from what everyone else is doing.  There is a surrounding hip hop foundation that bumps the melodies along which peels this away from too much of an oddity to be catchy.  Beyond the differences in music, Mark Foster extends his vocals in a deeper range than we’re used to…applying a friendly step in the right direction of a band’s growth pattern adding another level to their thickly woven depth.

I previously commented on their introductions being that of notability, and I must say, the outros are just as noteworthy.  The first notes to the lingering breaths, keys, and strums are really of intense professionalism.  The production is pretty flawless on these tracks and builds on the meat of the lyrics and instrumentation.  “Best Friend” is my favorite at the moment, though with an album this full of extraordinary texture, I’m sure I’ll change it a few times.  However, the Icona Pop’esque verses topped with whinny and playful choruses set just the right tone for a track that I wanted to learn the lyrics to about two weeks ago.  Another that has been growing on me (for the few days I’ve spent with Supermodel), is “Goats In Trees.”  Peculiar and catchy all at once, reminiscent to Mother Mother’s “Little Pistols,” I can’t help but falling in love.


Take a step, not a giant one, just a slight step into the Foster the People of 2014 who offer more versatility without being afraid of showing off dimensions when knowing full well what the mainstream sound brought to them.  I respect this move and wish more artists would travel in such a direction instead of upping for more mainstream…or repeating their past sound.   One of my favorites and most anticipated of 2014, well done FTP!

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