Foster the People’s “Sacred Hearts Club” reminds me of so many things, most of which, I can’t put my finger on (The Neighbourhood, definitely 3oh!3, maybe Kanye- in a non-legendary sense, Lorde, Black Flag, kind of Weezer, Frank Ocean?) none of which are Foster the People.
I left my first listen with more questions than I had statements about the album. What direction is this going in? Where are we? Who is this? Shock, awe, sometimes enjoyment, sprang forth in a mess of confusion and 100 different sounds.
If I had to sum up the album in one statement, I couldn’t. If someone was holding a gun to my head and telling me to place it into a genre, I would die.
The sound of this album varies from song to song and the songs vary from verse to verse. “Lotus Eater” is something you would hear covered by your local blooming punk band, then the next track “Loyal like Sid & Nancy” sounds like something you would hear at a club. Listening to the album is a shock to the system.
It seems like Foster the People was trying to get more of an edge but didn’t want to commit to what kind of edge they wanted. Do they want to be more punk, or hip-hop/ electronic? They couldn’t decide, so they went with both, but it didn’t quite work out.
The whole album feels a little bit gimmicky. Like they did it all on purpose, trying to reach a broad audience. Which will probably work, but why? The band had a very unique sound. They were among the first bands to bring the Alt-pop/ electronic genre to the mainstream–with Fitz and the Tantrums, Gotye, and Passion Pit by their side. They had a genre and “Sacred Hearts Club” feels like they are trying to be everyone else.
This album takes listeners on a journey. There are a lot of weird sounds. The whole album is out of left-field, so sudden and so strange. The change in tone from song to song just doesn’t seem like something that most people can get used to, making the album as a whole, a bust.
The individual songs, however are a different story. “Lotus Eater” is good. “I Love My Friends” is very fun and has some edge. “Pay the Man” is a very cool song. You could really dance to “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” (which listening to it again, I think it reminds me of Black Eyed Peas, wait? Is that a violin?) But putting the songs together was so, I don’t know, strange? It just didn’t work.
Check it out here.