Hype is a double-edged sword. Bands like The Strokes have suffered from receiving an extreme amount of acclaim in the early part of their careers which results in unrealistic expectations for future releases. Mark Foster declared that he had “created a monster” when reflecting back on Foster The People’s smash hit Pumped Up Kicks. For a song that has a dark plot about a high school kid who guns down his classmates, it sold over five million copies and made the band a household name. Unfortunately the never ending airplay meant that many people eventually got aggravated by the song and didn’t check out the band’s debutTorches.
The LA band’s second album replaces the bright and care free nature that could cause sunburn from their debut with something a bit more toned down. Pseudolgia Fantasy is a good example of this which shows Foster’s chirpy voice layered over a psychedelic sound that descends into white-noise chaos. Lead single ‘Coming of Age’ is one of the stronger tracks on offer which shows off a variety of resonate synths and harmonies that’ll be welcome addition to the band’s setlist on their inevitable future tours. Last but by no means least ‘Best Friend’ is the best track on offer, something that wouldn’t go amiss on Torches, but what’s most impressive is its masterful blend of falsettos, guitars and bass that are all reminiscent of bands like the Bee Gees that, in addition to the production values, help the track to truly shine.
Unfortunately the whole album isn’t as much fun the whole way through. Tracks like Goats In Trees feel slightly out of place and are pretty much unforgettable. Unfortunately this makes up most of the latter half of the album and makes Supermodel feel pretty anti-climatic.
The second album has proved to be difficult for various bands and those who have produced sugary sweet indie debuts like The Ting Tings have stumbled up and disappointed when it comes to this task. Although Supermodel isn’t Foster The People’s equivalent to Total Life Forever, it’s still a good album in its own right.