Foster the People’s Sophomore Effort “Supermodel” Signifies a Dark Future for the Band.
Any popular band’s ability to cause influence or attract a following relies on two distinct factors: the ability to create a unique sound that usually transcends genres, and in the quest for popularity, a hard-hitting, catchy single (or two singles) that will appeal radio stations and movies, thus creating a foundation for the popularity of the band. Foster the People captured the essence of both on their first album “Torches”, but I am highly skeptical that Foster the People will be able to accomplish this on their second album. We can see that Foster the People will end up more like Franz Ferdinand than Coldplay. Here lies the difference between a band like Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay. Coldplay’s sophomore effort remains the epitome of their pop/rock sound, with its most notable and fan-favorite tracks, while Franz Ferdinand simply continued their sound with mediocre and indiscrete tracks that failed to punch the pop world with singles on the first album like “Take Me Out”.
Back to the issue at hand. Foster the People has evolved their sound by adding a higher level of pop in their chorus, and by prioritizing the guitar to control chord progressions. This is an encouraging aspect of their second album, but I fear that “Supermodel” does not contain the top 40 hit it needs to continue the bands upward mobility. Even if “Supermodel” does not contain this “Pumped up Kicks”-esque track to draw new and old viewers back to obsessing over the band, Foster the People would have to create a concept album or experimental, but critically acclaimed album in order to retain popularity.
One may argue that popularity doesn’t lie at the centerpiece of a band’s vision, but many of us forget the reason we know Foster the People: we all heard “Pumped up Kicks” and were subsequently introduced to the distinctive sound and premiere tracks like “Houdini” which made us, well, fans. Foster the People failed to properly evolve on “Supermodel”, and this can only signify the beginning of the end for the band.
Of course, I’d love to be wrong as well.