"Torches" by Foster The People

Foster The People
Torches

StarTime International
2011

Review

Everybody loves "Pumped Up Kicks". Almost nobody knows what the song is really about. My wife would hear it on the radio and turn it up (usually after a few happy screams) and then exclaim "Oh my god! This is my happy song." I told her to listen to the lyrics. She still screams happily when it comes on the radio, but it's not so much of a feel good song for her lyrically. This experience seems to be repeated to all the folks I talk to who are themselves enamored of 'The People. But it doesn't really matter. The people don't need to understand 'The People's lyrics in order for them to do a little happy dance when one of their songs come on. And you know what? If you liked "Pumped Up Kicks" then you are going to LOVE nearly everything else that's on here.

Foster The People are great songwriters. It's not really anything new or boundary pushing. There's no weird experimentation or anything like that. No distorted guitars. It's just, you know, instruments. And they have a keyboard player that they apply liberally.

Even the "serious" songs are happy. Take my personal favorite song on the album "Waste". It's a somewhat serious message of "time's a wasting, do something with yourself" but it's delivered wrapped up in a playful, pop-rock package (using some of the same instrumental elements that "Pumped Up Kicks" uses).

The album loses some steam towards the end which songs that don't work as well (read: that are less poppy), but still there's some great stuff here. This one will probably have a long life on the radio.

Lyrically, I was also impressed. As they say themselves:

Dont Stop/Don't Stop/Don't Stop/Giving Me Things

I can't wait for the next album. Well done 'People.

4.100 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Helena Beat (04:36) 5
2. Pumped Up Kicks (03:58) 5
3. Call It What You Want (04:01) 4
4. Don't Stop (Color On the Walls) (02:56) 5
5. Waste (03:25) 5
6. I Would Do Anything for You (03:35) 4
7. Houdini (03:24) 3
8. Life on the Nickel (03:36) 3
9. Miss You (03:36) 4
10. Warrant (05:22) 3