After what felt like them being M.I.A. all year (apart from the radio still playing their 2011 smash hit “Pumped Up Kicks”) Foster the People finally released a brand new track in the form of “Coming of Age”. But with all the controversy surrounding the single that got them noticed, it was hard to NOT wonder what these L.A. natives had up their sleeves.
Surprisingly, the lyrics of this song are pretty tame and extremely relatable for those at any age. While the technical coming of age usually occurs in high school, they discuss it as almost like a transition into adulthood (and let’s just say they’re not entirely gung ho about that particular aspect). With back-and-forth lyrics of truly wanting to try to be a better person (“I see you standing there like a rabid dog/Makes me wanna surrender and wrap you in my arms”) and not wanting to accept that you need to change to become that better person (“…even when I’m wrong I tend to think I’m right” and “leaving a trail of debt”), there’s an undeniable camaraderie that is formed between the listener and the music.
Unfortunately, the music lacks that spark that “Pumped Up Kicks” had and sounds way too similar to The Killers’ “Human”. Sure, it semi sounds like it could’ve fit in with the rest of their debut album Torches, but it would’ve been better if they continued on with their unique sound instead of trying to develop a sound that’s cookie-cut for radio airplay. Not saying the instrumentation is completely terrible (because it definitely brings the lyrics to life), it’s just a shock that their new single is a little bland.
Of course, everyone’s opinion on the “Coming of Age” will be different (especially since the radio is eating it up and is quickly on its way to being overplayed). Despite the lackluster musicality of it, it’s still a great song with an honest and relatable message for anyone afraid of growing up. It’s got a catchy, controversy-free chorus that anyone could easily learn the words to and ironically showcases frontman Mark Foster’s noticeably deeper voice that sounds like it got the good end of puberty. Plus, it leaves you with some quotes to live by in the lyrics, “You know I try to live without regrets/I’m always moving forward and not looking back.” But the real question is: what is the rest of their sophomore album, Supermodel, going to sound like?