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Foster the People - the New MGMT?

Updated on September 6, 2018

The other day I was listening to the radio and I heard this strange song, something likeI hadn't heard for quite a while. I thought it was MGMT, and was excited that perhaps they were coming out with a new album. Their previous album Congratulations hadn't been as good as Oracular Spectacular, but this song seemed promising. I came home and looked up the song on Google only to find that it was by some new band known as Foster The People. I was a little disappointed at first, but decided to check them out on YouTube. When I heard the song again, I instantly loved it. The video wasn't all that amazing, but the song was just out of this world. It's rare that I have these moments where I love a song so much, so of course I was excited.

The song, as you may have guessed, was Pumped Up Kicks:

I was surprised to find out that the song had been released way back in September of 2010! That's almost a whole year ago. How did the radios miss this song for so long? I mean, it's so ridiculously catchy that I couldn't stop listening to it all day. And when I wasn't listening to it, it was playing in my head. The song is currently positioned at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, but i wouldn't be surprised if it went even further. Maybe even to #1? The song has already far surpassed MGMT's chart peak of 91 which they had for their single "Kids." This kind of music has been "indie" for too long, it's about time it gets some mainstream attention.

I decided that since I liked the song so much I would check out the album. The album is called Torches and was released in May of 2011, so a few months ago. The original version has 10 songs, while the Best Buy exclusive has an additional 2 with a grand total of 12. The album is truly amazing, it's all I've been listening to since yesterday. I listened to it when cleaning my room, driving, and even showering. In fact, I'm listening to it while typing this right now. The only way I can summarize the album is that it's sort of a MGMT meets Mike Posner, minus explicit references to drugs or getting high (although you sometimes feel like that when listening to these songs.) It definitely has more of a pop sound than MGMT, but much less refined than Mike Posner. Overall the album is on the same level as Oracular Spectacular I would say. I know hardcore MGMT fans would beg to differ, but really this album is a gem. It's what I would've expected Congratulations to have been from MGMT. I'm not saying Congratulations was a bad album, but just not at the same level.

If you're going to buy this album, definitely get the Best Buy exclusive! It's a shame that Love and Chin Music For the Unsuspecting Hero aren't on the original version, nor on iTunes as far as I know. They're both really good songs, and Love is one of my favorites from the album.

Here a are a few tracks definitely worth listening to (besides the lead single of course which is linked above):

Waste - This is my second favorite song from the album (after Pumped up Kicks). I guarantee that it will probably be released as a single. It starts off sounding very video game like. Kind of reminds me of a Super Nintendo RPG I used to have. This song is also the most Mike Posner-ish song of the album, it has a similar style. The song is very easy listening with simple lyrics that depict reaching for freedom and the usual you can do whatever you want thing.

Houdini - This song just shows how diverse the band can be. Probably the best produced song on the album alongside with Helena Beat. This song has a really familiar melody to it, I don't know what it's called but it's that one military march theme kinda thing. You'll know what I'm taking about when you listen to this song. This song reminds of a lot of Electric Feel, it's really a crazy magical song that makes you see colors when you close your eyes. No wonder it's called Houdini.

Love - I really don't get why this was only a Best Buy exclusive track! It's a great song. It's probably the whackiest song on the album, it just makes you feel happy. The melody is really heart-warming and cheery, and even the chorus says "Love Love Love, it can be a wonderful thing." I could've seen this becoming a single but I don't know about that if it isn't even on the standard edition of the album.

Some other honorable mentions on the album are like I said Helena Beat which is really well-produced, and the second single off the album. Call It Want You Want, and Miss You are my other favorites from the album. Warrant also has a really funky instrumental between verses, I love it. But really I can honestly say that I like every single song from the album. They're all catchy, well-produced and well-constructed, and unique sounding while at the same-time have that really similar style. This is electro-pop or alternative rock or whatever people call it at it's finest. By the way, The dub step and party Remixes of Pumped Up Kicks are also really good and worth a mention.

So yes, Foster The People has gone mainstream. Most of the original fans are probably going to have a superiority fit claiming that they don't like the band anymore because everyone else likes it, or that they liked it first. I never really understood fans of indie music. It's one thing to have a taste for indie music, but liking only indie music never made sense to me. You like a song that nobody else likes, but when they do all of a sudden you don't? Give me a break. Music is for everyone to enjoy, and you can't choose what you like or dislike. I personally enjoy everything, and I think people should give all kinds of music a chance with an open-mind.

What's your favorite song from Torches? (Excluding Pumped Up Kicks)

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    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      6 years ago

      I love every song by them with a passion. Each song is different from the others. I think mark foster has extreme talent along with cubbie fink and mark pontius. Im excited for their second album and I have faith that they will continue to produce amazing music :)

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      Fire Alarm Fanatic 

      7 years ago

      Actually, I've heard of that song you first mentioned since July 2010 when a satellite radio station started playing it. Foster have become victims of payola, and look where they're now! Usually, indie songs get "sniff-tested" (think NASA) and if they're liked enough on college radio, satellite radio, and other music sources, then it its FM radio and on the general public radar. Because of payola, I grew out of Foster in FEBRUARY! I used to be indifferent about them, but I can't stand them now! I can't believe that such an indie band could touch the hot-100 charts, let alone chart in the top ten. Plus, calling them the new MGMT isn't a compliment. MGMT's first album was okay, but they crashed and burned in their second album. I hope the same happens for Foster. the lead singer's voice sounds like a parrot with problems, and bands like these make me want to hate hipsters even more! Oh, Don't Stop is in a Kia/Nissan/Who Gives a Damn commercial.

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