This post is in partnership with Consequence of Sound, an online music publication devoted to the ever growing and always thriving worldwide music scene.
It was easy to be cynical when Foster the People broke through with #8220Pumped Up Kicks#8221. Frontman/mastermind Mark Foster had, in fact, been working as a jingle writer for a while, so connecting the dots between soulless commercialism and the almost too-perfect indie pop wasn#8217t challenging. Foster himself didn#8217t shy away from that link: #8220I definitely learned from the commercial standpoint what works,#8221 he told Rolling Stone in June 2011. That hook could easily be called contagious, even weaponized, designed in a lab to overpower the pop universe. And it did.
But after a few hundred more listens to the single, and a couple of spins through the accompanying album, there was some charm there. Sure, it was stylized, self-aware, maybe even calculating, but what pop music isn#8217t? Torches had a few more epic choruses to offer. And the guy can write a hook, and no one should be penalized for that. Taking a job that utilizes that ability sounds pretty reasonable. But more to the point: #8220Pumped Up Kicks#8221 was just so gosh darn catchy.
That good will is lost pretty quickly, though, on the opening lines of their sophomore LP, Supermodel: #8220I woke up on Champs-Eacutelyseacutees to the djembe of Ghana/ A fine lady from Belize said, #8216You got the spirit of Fela.