Artist – Foster the People
Album – Supermodel
Year – 2014
Genre – Indie Pop, Alternative
I figured I’d jump into the spirit of college and review a song that fits the indie spirit of the higher learning establishment perfectly, not to mention a title that screams building character and life experience. I almost had the chance to interview Foster the People a few weeks ago, but unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, it kind of fell through. However, Mark Foster, if you are reading this then just know I would still very much like to interview you and your band someday! I promise it’ll be fun!
After a spacey intro and that famous Foster the People driving drum beat, the song kicks in with some wonderful guitar crunch. I love this tone, and fortunately for me, it’s used throughout the whole song. It’s a rocking riff right in the middle of what would otherwise be described as a pretty low-key song.
I’ve always really liked Mark Foster’s voice. It’s the perfectly blend of clarity and emotion, and his high register really works for a song of this kind. His echoing, high pitch mixed with the melancholy melody of the verse just capture your attention immediately. With a quick vocal transition into the chorus, the song shifts right into high gear.
The chorus is one of the catchiest the band has written since “Pumped Up Kicks.” They’ve mastered the art of the build up and when Foster’s perfect melodic resolution of “it’s like a coming of age” hits you, you just want to hear it again and again. And you do. And it feels so good. It’s those perfect notes in that phrase that keep you coming back for more. Not only do the vocals shine, but that crunchy riff is back again, and when the two blend, it’s a total immersion of pleasing elements.
The next verse feels even more passionate than the first. Foster launches right into it, and the texture from the synth and bass surround his clear voice in a cloud of warmth. Not only does he bring out even more emotion, but his penchant for lyricism shows itself more clearly in this verse. This line in particular is just too good:
Just like an animal I protect my pride
When I’m too bruised to fight
Nice little stroke of wit right there, Foster. There’s another great chorus section, and this time Foster shows off the top of his range with a soaring ending. He can talk the talk, but this shows that he can also walk the walk. Don’t believe yet? Check out the live performance below.
There’s a beautiful piano section that serves as a bridge and it’s one of my favorite parts of the song. It adds those rich tones that just build the song up even more and give some diversity to it. When the guitar crunch comes back in, it signals some more chorus action for us, and it does not disappoint, especially at the end when Foster goes into straight up Beach Boys mode and “wooo”‘s us into submission. I mean, I was wooed. I don’t know about anyone else here right now. That’s how end a song right there, though. When in doubt…Beach Boys.
Really quickly, I’d like to show my appreciation for the lyrics in this song. Though I don’t personally relate to them as much as many other songs, I can tell Foster is putting himself on the line with this one, and his personal, passionate words are very apparent. His conviction is something I admire, and something you can truly feel. It’s a song about growing up and finding love, and yourself.
Thanks for reading, as always! Be sure to leave a comment about what you thought of the song! I want to hear from you!