It’s difficult to top the monumental success this LA band had with their 2011 single “Pumped Up Kicks”, and even harder to do so three years later, when synth-pop, indie rock tracks are such common chart-toppers. On Supermodel, Foster the People create a dreamy, lulling atmosphere that–with the exception of a few tracks–soon turns unimpressive, suitable background music to any modern hipster movie setting.
The album’s 30-second introductory track is nostalgic of the band’s recording in Africa, and “Ask Yourself” defends Foster’s rock and roll rights, while “Coming Of Age” centers around the band’s wild last few years. Though the songs are cleverly crafted in terms of lyrics, there isn’t much that stands out when it comes to melody material. And “Nevermind”, though it’s one of the stronger tracks, still isn’t exactly what we’re looking for.
“Pseudologia Fantastica” sticks to the album’s theme of warped and dreamy pop sounds, and we do get to reminisce a bit on “Best Friend”; the band utilizes their cheery-music-accompanying-sad-lyrics technique that they did in “Pumped Up Kicks”, the song about a school shooting.
“A Beginner’s Guide To Destroying The Moon” is a bit more alternative rock and less neo-psychedelia. It hardly fits in with the other tracks and quickly blends into the background as a solid, yet still forgettable song. After that, things slow down on “Goats In Trees”, which exhibits Foster’s creditable falsetto, and “Fire Escape” strips it down to acoustic on a wise, lulling song referencing the band’s hometown.
There’s nothing overly remarkable about this album, nor anything to show for the three years the band has been away. For the most part, the tracks are bland and highly disappointing for those of us who felt a spark in Torches, their first LP. The 12 songs on Supermodel hint at other artists’ styles here and there (there’s a trace of Vampire Weekend in there somewhere) and Foster The People combine this with their own unoriginal interpretations to create their very own mediocre indie rock/pop album.
Evidently they’ll have to draw from more than just the haystack of common ideas to create something truly remarkable, as Supermodel hardly contains much praiseworthy material. 6/10.
Nataly Capote/A&E Editor