(9 out of 10) Frightened Rabbit’s 2nd full length recording
This might be the saddest yet most uplifting full length album I’ve listened to. After hearing it you are not sure whether to jump off a bridge, or go on the greatest journey of your life and find yourself. It has all things every great record should have. It has beautiful convincing vocals (in an especially beautiful Scottish accent), it has full organic acoustics that are extra warm and extra fuzzy, it has destructive sounding electric guitar riffs with epic build ups, and lastly it has a wonderful feeling of genuine love for good music and for life. Its something that is a ‘must listen’ for anyone looking to actually learn about full on no-pop no-plastic great tuneage.
The self pity laden Modern Leper is a jump between loving someone so much that you feel unworthy and self loathing to the point of stupidity. Speaking figuratively of his sick body and useless limbs Scott Hutchison paints a picture of a person that is too sick to go on and doesn’t feel worthy that another is willing to stay behind with them. Their unmistakably Scottish accents drill in the sound of indie folk song after song. It really is quite melodic. Very fun to listen to for such a dark record.
Keep Yourself Warm is the star of the album in my opinion. It has a super hard hitting guitar riff that resonates throughout the whole song, some beautiful organ/piano undertones and aggressive lyrics that make you want to jump around and punch holes in the wall. At one point it says “it takes more than fucking someone you don’t know, to keep yourself warm”. I think most guys can really relate to that feeling about their ex-gf. The feeling that whether she is or isn’t, you just know she IS sleeping around to try and get over you.
There is so much to be said about Midnight Organ Fight that I will probably be adding to this review/praise session of this album for a long time. Not that it will be a job, but the thing just keeps growing on me. There is a song for every mood and it makes any person in any scenario feel vintage and folk in the coolest of ways. This is a must have album for any hipster, music connoisseur, or just regular dude wanting to jam hard to some heartfelt music.
(7 out of 10) Foster the People’s debut album ‘Torches’
Let me first start with saying, no, Pumped Up Kicks is not the best song on this record. It comes as a surprise to most people but is a great sign of things to come for these keyboard heavy hipsters. This catchy synth based band got its name on the map from the ever so popular song Pumped Up Kicks around the middle of 2011. From there they continued to tour and support the new album while also making music videos for nearly half of the record (which of course plays very well into the bands YouTube visibility). People love to listen to songs on YouTube, but an interesting high definition video always propels the video to millions more views. This follows true with the 7th song on the album, and my personal favorite ‘Houdini’. The song perfectly embodies the eclectic feel of Mark Foster’s musical sense. Encorporating jazz, glam rock, and even a hip hop element this song includes sounds from a wide range of genres. Complete with a catchy keyboard riff and their signature high-pitched vocals this song touches on the human emotion of sometimes wanting to just disappear. From Pumped Up Kicks to the new singles like ‘Houdini’ and ‘Helena Beat’ this album has enough visibility and catchyness in the mainstream media to propel it to sure gold sales.
Overall for a debut album from a young band I think this is about as good as it gets. Most people will recognize and identify, of course, with the kicks that are pumped up but for anyone looking to get into this new age synth-rock incarnation I would say this is a very fun and positive band to get into. While many have argued all of the songs sound the same (this is partially true) they all sound the same in very different ways if that makes any sense. Each song is diverse and bright in that sometimes the only thing drawing them together is the electric keyboard. Other times you think they just took Pumped Up Kicks and changed the pitch to make songs like Waste (these two songs sound almost identical besides the vocal effects). Only time will tell if Foster the People will end up in the one-hit-wonder graveyard like so many other pop bands but my guess would be surely no. They have too much talent and are coming into the scene at a perfect time for this type of sound. I am excited to see what they bring with their next singles and subsequent second album.