ALBUM REVIEW: Foster the People blend psychedelic pop with methodical lyricism in ‘Sacred Hearts Club’

The alternative pop group return after a lackluster sophomore effort, now with plenty to show

| July 25, 2017

Album Cover Courtesy of Foster the People and Columbia Records

Even as the summer quickly begins to sizzle away, the amount of impressive indie pop spooling from the speakers of the music industry seems to be never-ending. With Friday marking the release of yet another highly-anticipated alternative album in Foster the People’s third record, ‘Sacred Hearts Club,’ the summer of rocking pop anthems that is Summer 2017 seems to have another hit on its hands. Delivering seething, psychedelic melodies against its sinisterly-good collection of lyrics from leading man Mark Foster and his crew, Foster the People return with powerful energy, effectively drawing me back in after a forgettable sophomore record.

While their second record in 2014’s ‘Supermodel’ might have slipped under my radar when it came out nearly three years back, the debut album of alternative rockers Foster the People in ‘Torches,’ just three years before that, remains undeniably fresh even today. With lead vocalist Foster a master of breezy hooks, and the band connoisseurs of sunbaked melodies of techno and hard rock, ‘Torches’ provided me with the perfect spark of obsession for a group with a dynamic and groovy sound. Surprisingly, however, my interest in the band lost much of its momentum as new pop rockers quickly entered the playing field. It wasn’t until this year that the band popped up again with a trio of fantastic tracks, prompting me to invest once more into their riveting, luminescent sound.

Whatever drew me away from the band after ‘Torches’ quickly dissipated, as their early 2017 EP in April’s ‘III’ shook the veil from my eyes and showed me the true potential of their newest album. With the EP’s trio of catchy anthems in the likes of ‘Pay the Man,’ ‘SHC’ and ‘Doing It for the Money’ ringing in my ears as I listened to the rest of the full-length album, I knew ‘Sacred Hearts Club’ was going to be something to talk about. Going beyond the trio of psychedelic hits that open the album, I found an ambitious and experimental journey, one that effortlessly bounced from spacey, electronic pop to the far reaches of gritty punk rock.

Through the blending of a cornucopia of genres, in tracks like ‘Static Space Lover’ and ‘Lotus Eater,’ as well as few interludes that let the band breath before exploding into their next track, Foster the People work through their methodical lyrics with shimmering elegance. Evoking messy but soulful tunes in tracks like ‘Loyal Like Sid & Nancy’ and ‘III,’ even the less catchy and foot-tapping lyrics of the album find their way buried in your memory. Beyond the lyrics, which spin thoughts of flawed friendship, dwindling love and other sporadic landscapes, the band also manage to capture the likeness of The Strokes and others in tracks like the pulsating ‘Lotus Eater’ and ‘SHC.’

While their latest record might send us some pulled punches in songs like ‘I Love My Friends’ and ‘Sit Next to Me,’ which mirror tracks like ‘Houdini’ and ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ off their phenomenal debut, Foster the People know exactly what they’re doing with ‘Sacred Hearts Club.’ Testing the waters, and efficiently blurring the line between techno pop and the unnerving echo of classic rock, the band’s experimental trip into the darkness with their third record shows they still have some tricks up their sleeve.

Foster the People consists of lead vocalist Mark Foster, drummer Mark Pontius, guitarist Sean Cimino and keyboardist Isom Innis. Their third record, ‘Sacred Hearts Club’ is available for stream and in stores everywhere now. If you like them, you might also enjoy Two Door Cinema Club, The Killers, Glass Animals and Grouplove.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Music

Tyler Trudeau is a sophomore Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about movies, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

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Tyler Trudeau is a sophomore Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about movies, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

Twitter Author's Website