Torches Burns Bright

By Frank M.

Listen to Frank’s oral review at the link below:

Foster the People
Columbia (2011)


If I had to choose one word to describe Foster The People’s new album it would be unique. It has a sound I’ve never heard before. I couldn’t classify it into one genre no matter how many times I listened to it. I had to look it up. According to the bands website they’re music is “melodic dance-infused pop and rock”. Well, I’ve never heard of that before, but I like it.

Foster the People is an American indie pop band that has its roots in Los Angeles, California. They came together in 2009 and have been making music together since. The group is made up of Mark Foster, who does main vocals and plays guitar, Cubbie Fink, who plays the drums and other various percussion instruments, and Mark Pontius, the group’s bass player and backup vocals.

The album Torches was recorded by the band during 2010 over to 2011 and was released May 23 of 2011. It isn’t titled after or centered on any one song but for most people the main appeal will be in the bands major break-out song “Pumped Up Kicks”. Pumped Up Kicks was released in September of 2010 and was named the “Official Song of Summer” by many radio stations. I’m inclined to agree with them, I could definitely see myself listening to this in the car on my way down to the beach. Pumped Up Kicks also managed to reach No. 7 on the top 100 chart, it it’s definitely not the only thing to love about this album.

The first thing I noticed when I gave this CD its first listen is that EVERY song has a catchy Chorus. Every single one. This, coupled with its interesting lyrics, makes every song and every listen through enjoyable. Also, everything about it is so crisp, so clear. Every different instrument can be picked out of the music, and every word spoken is audible, yet somehow it all also blends together. And speaking of the spoken word, Mark Foster’s voice is quite impressive. It’s high, but not strained or annoying. In some cases its electronically assisted, but not for his benefit, just for the style of the song. He is very well suited to his genre

This whole album was the perfect package. It looked cool (the art was done by a friend of Mark Foster) and all the songs came together in the perfect order to create a perfect feeling for the whole thing. It included older favorites for fans of the band, but also some great new tunes I was very pleased with. The most pleasant surprise I think was song No. 6, “I Would Do Anything For You” The opening riff is a little misleading, but it quickly turns into a well paced, almost up-beat but very tranquil song with a VERY catchy chorus. I found myself continuously returning to it.

I hope Foster The People produce another album soon, because I want more. This album only features ten songs and, while they’re all great, ten isn’t enough. They need to keep everything the same for next time though. The style, the feel, the layout and the sound, it all has to stay the same. It’s the perfect package. It can be listened to alone or with friends in the car on a road trip. It fits almost any occasion. It’s easily the most memorable album I’ve listened to in quite some time. I’d say that it’s comparable to your favorite movie. You’re so happy with it, and you could watch it over and over again, but if there was a sequel to be made you would insist that it’s done the exact same way.

Frank M. is a Grade 12 student with a passion for any song with a beat.


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