Friday, May 21, 2010

Album Review: Foals - Total Life Forever

Foals: Total Life Forever
Year: 2010
Click here for the artist's site

I came upon the debut album by Foals in a strange way.  It was about two in the morning and I was channel surfing with my little sister.  We stumbled upon the music video for their song "Olympic Airways" and we were suitably impressed.  I jotted the name of the band down, determined to check them out in the morning and expecting to be disappointed once I heard them while awake and fully cognizant.

I wasn't.  Instead, Antidotes was one of the single best albums to come out in 2008, a poppy, guitar driven math rock record filled with silly lyrics and catchy melodies.  Even the slower songs had a sense of seething intensity that boiled just under the surface, ready to erupt and any time.

With a debut like that, it's obvious that I was very excited about the follow up.

Regrettably, it was a useless excitement - a buildup to the release of an album that is disappointing at best, infuriatingly aimless at worst.  All of the speed and zest of their first disc is gone - replaced with laid-back beats, lazy guitar work, unimpressive vocals, and completely forgettable melodies.  There is no interplay between instruments, no inventive rhythms, and everything just feels so wasted.

Seriously, I haven't been so disappointed in an album in years.  The first was so impressive, they'd set the bar so high I figured there would be no way they would overtake it - but I didn't expect something that, to put it bluntly, sucks so very, very much.

Final verdict: Ignore it
It pains me to say it.  I've been preaching the Foals gospel for over a year now, and this sophomore effort is a colossal mess.  There are maybe one or two songs that have a shade of the genius of their first disc, but the vast majority are a filler waste of space.  Avoid it - just go listen to Antidotes and pretend that this album doesn't exist.


  1. Anonymous10:43 AM

    listen again

  2. wow. I and many others found this record eclipses Antiodes by a large margin. A breakthrough record of sorts. "Spanish Sahara" alone makes it a better record. They're doing prog now, whereas with Antidotes they were basically taking 1-part Battles, 1-part Bloc Party and 1-part Minus the Bear. They're more like Pure Reason Revolution on this record, but I kind of sense they've found their own sound with it.