“Supermodel” – Foster The People

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I’m gonna go ahead and answer the question that is on everyone’s mind: No, there is no “Pumped Up Kicks” on Foster The People’s second studio album, Supermodel. However, the band’s frontman Mark Foster claims he didn’t even bother trying to write a song as big as the band’s prior multiplatinum hit. “I feel like trying to write a song in order to be a big hit is just not something I’m interested in because it’s not going to come from an authentic place of expression,” Foster said in a recent interview. You can’t blame the man. Nevertheless, the band’s second studio album is a pleasant listen.

Rolling Stone recently made the claim that Supermodel is “Passion Pit without the passion, Imagine Dragons without imagination.” This is true in the sense that the album’s big singles do sound like rip-offs of other bands. “Best Friend” sounds scarily like a Passion Pit jammer, and opening track “Are You What You Want To Be?” has verses that resemble a Vampire Weekend tune. However, it is difficult to agree with Rolling Stone‘s claim that this album lacks passion. Just listen to the album closer, “Fire Escape.” This somber tune sounds like it came straight out of Mark Foster’s dark closet of haunting secrets: “I am a fire escape, my spine is made of iron, my heart pumps that old red paint. Save yourself, save yourself…” It is hard to deny that some serious emotion went into this album.

In fact, Foster and bassist Cubbie Fink traveled to North Africa and the Middle East searching for the inspiration behind Supermodel. Talk about commitment to crafting an album! You can definitely hear the cultural influences fused into the band’s original sound.

Overall, it is true that Supermodel is by no means the best album to come out so far this year, nor does it contain a track that even remotely comes close to the smash hit that is “Pumped Up Kicks.” However, it is also true that Foster The People’s second studio album is a pleasant collection of indie rock jams, and friends of mine know that I’m a sucker for just that.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: Are You What You Want To Be?, Coming Of Age, Best Friend

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