It’s been almost three years since Los Angeles indie rockers Foster the People came out of nowhere and knocked us off our feet with their debut album Torches, which included the monster hit “Pumped Up Kicks”. Well, it looks like they’ve “come of age” with their equally mesmerizing sophomore album Supermodel.
Supermodel starts with the self-explanatory yet still cleverly written “Are You Who You Want to Be?” and ends with the six-minute “Tabloid Super Junkie”, a humorous, hipster account that calls out people who are a tad too into celebrity gossip. Wedged in between are the lead single “Coming of Age”, the Neon Trees meets Bruno Mars‘ song “Treasure” with the deeper meaning track “Best Friend”, and the completely unnecessary and uber-creepy “The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones” smack dab in the middle of the album.
With three 5+ minute songs (“Nevermind”, “Goats in Trees” and “Pseudologia Fantastica”), you would think it would be a little difficult to keep paying attention to the music. Of the three, “Pseudologia Fantastica” commands the most attention with its hint of The 1975 in the music and Arctic Monkeys in the vocals, but it still has that Foster the People flair lyrically. You can definitely picture a huge stadium where everyone’s swaying and banging their heads to the chorus. Another song that captures the ear is “Ask Yourself”. It discusses the age-old feeling of maybe you’re “following someone else’s dream” and encourages you to walk a different path to reach your own dreams no matter what people tell you.
The music throughout Supermodel is slightly less upbeat than their debut album but still makes you want to bob your head. It’s almost like a more mature version of Torches but it still has the pizzazz that got them noticed in the first place. They were strategic with the album’s flow but the slower-paced tracks really bring down the tone of the rest of the record. However, it’s still music that would be perfect for a trip to the beach.
While I personally couldn’t help comparing it to Torches, there’s no doubt that Supermodel holds its own while still being very much upbeat and lyrically witty. Let’s be honest, “Fire Escape” and “The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones” really didn’t need to be included (in fact, they kind of throw off the vibe of the album). Overall, Foster the People succeeded in delivering a sophomore album that didn’t kill their career. Looks like they’re not a one-hit wonder after all.