‘Foster the People’s’ ‘Supermodel’ is stunning

Chris Madaffer, Staff Writer


Cover Art for "Foster the People's" new album "Supermodel"
Cover Art for “Foster the People’s” new album “Supermodel”                         Photo Credit: Google images




In 2011 Foster the People’s debut studio album “Torches” brought a fun and catchy resonance to fans of alternative rock and indie groups. Their sophomore release titled “Supermodel” brings the same fun and catchy feel but adds more of a technical and mature sound that is found in the vocals and supporting instruments.

The opening album track, “Are You What You Wanna Be” does an excellent job exciting the listener with a solid buildup that leads into a strong harmonic sound that is similar to what was present in the band’s first album “Torches.” The main hook in this track is the strong bass playing by Cubbie Fink and changing tone of Mark Foster’s vocals during the first verse and into the chorus.

The album’s strongpoint is how it introduces more of a progressive sound not only with the technical and synthesized sounds but with the guitar both acoustic and electric. This time around, there were small segments of solo work from the guitar and while this might seem that it’s straying from more of the pop sound, it blends both elements into a sound where each aspect of the vocals and instruments are utilized to their potential.

The best examples of the mixture of these sounds are found on the tracks “Best Friend,” “Coming of Age,” and the album’s concluding track “Super Tabloid Junkie.” These three tracks illustrate the band’s ability to stay true to their roots while not being afraid to explore different styles. While “Coming of Age” was the album’s lead single released last January, it presents a new wave sound that contains lyrics that not only suit the genre perfectly but will inspire fans to anticipate more.

The final four songs of Supermodel inhabit influenced sounds from artists like Radiohead, Coldplay and Bright Eyes. “Fire Escape” is distinctly different from the rest of the album but what makes this track fresh is that it’s an acoustic track with a strong vocal performance from Mark Foster. It definitely isn’t an upbeat track that fans would expect but it’s great to see the band make a track that relies on simple acoustic chords that are supported by strong vocals both solo and harmonic.

“The Truth” sounded like it was influenced by Coldplay when it comes to sounds of the keyboard and piano. The keys on this track are not only what makes it stay on course with the chorus but it helps the song end as strong as it started. The vocals on this track and in the track “Goats In Trees” let the listener hear Foster project his skills with lower pitched singing rather than the mostly higher pitched sound from before. This approach might seem like a gamble because it doesn’t sound like Foster at first but it doesn’t matter because the vocals transition from low to high seconds within each other and this aspect of the album solidifies the album as a fine point in Foster the People’s repertoire .

Foster the People’s Supermodel excels at what it intended to do. It intended to deliver the familiar upbeat and catchy tunes that fans know and love while also delivering a newer mature sound that allows the band to gain new listeners as well.

Supermodel releases Tuesday, March 18th

Tracks that are a must listen: Best Friend, Coming of Age, Super Tabloid Junkie, The Truth.

Score:  8.5/10