GUEST REVIEW: Foals – Total Life Forever


Due to time constraints, a lack of enthusiasm and Katie being generally super cool we’ve decided to hand this review over to her, she has a blog where she talks about music and shit right here. She also hates synthesizers, who knew?

My God. Blue Blood. What a way to start an album!
We were all completely wowed by the tenderness of our first taste of the new album – Spanish Sahara – and how it differed from the expressionless tinkering of first album, Antidotes, but did we ever expect more tender little gems on Total Life Forever?
Yannis Philippakis’ vocals excel the most when they’re raw and unproduced, but throughout the band’s debut and at moments on TLF, the passion in his vocals drowned in quirky little sound effects and over production.
Miami and Total Life Forever have the sort of catchy-pop choruses that will get them radio play. Spanish Sahara still tears my heart out from the opening few notes and continues to do so throughout the epic 7 minutes.
This Orient is brilliantly Bloc Party; Foals’ answer to ‘This Modern Love’.
The less said about the 48 seconds of self indulgent instrumental that is Fugue, the better.
After Glow is another 6 minute ditty, that goes from woefully meandering through it’s choruses to sounding like a multi-dimensional Hot Chip.
Alabaster is another gentle one you can cry in your bedroom to, while 2 Trees is an ethereal wander-off into a lyric-less guitar wank.

Antidotes was emotionless – an irritatingly repetitive attempt at a dance record that fell flat. Foals best moments are when they are chopping up minimalism and mixing it with their traditional complex mass of sound.
Total Life Forever is noise pop; an emotive yet complicated mass of guitars and keyboards. I can only love keyboards when they’re making love songs and Foals may have just pulled it off this time. About 50% of it is jaw-droppingly good – the sort of music you want to dump your boyfriend for so you can sit at home listening to it all summer.
The rest is just above average. And that’s not a bad effort.
This album won’t just soundtrack chilled summer days though, it will be played throughout the night and into the morning. It will soundtrack the parties and the comedowns. Everyone will be talking about it – dissecting each little detail the band spent so long perfecting. Foals have always been about attention to detail and that’s what will draw in the lifelong fans as opposed to the trendies who want a quick fix of Math Rock, or whatever experimental sound the NME are pushing this week.

Total Life Forever isn’t just the soundtrack to your summer, but an album that will stay with you right through Autumn into Winter. I can’t wait!

8/10 (Or, in her original words “meeeeeh 7 or 8? 7 or 8? GO FOR AN 8”)

Katie Stanton