ALBUM REVIEW: Foster the People – Sacred Hearts Club

As a human of the world, I really love music. All music… it doesn’t matter. If it has a pulse, and breathes life into something, I am hooked. Unfortunately, this has proved harder and harder to accomplish the older I get. Maybe I am turning curmudgeon, but much of the newer music I listened to lately lacks true soul, sounds tinny and limp, and doesn’t kick you in the balls the way I remember. There is nothing like Axl Rose’s growl, Ice Cube’s snarl, or just anything Lemmy or George Clinton related. For me anyway, music in 2017 is full of attitude, but not danger, and that is what those four I just mentioned brought to the fold, unpredictability and danger, and that’s what contributes to the legend.

I say that because, I took my good old time listening to the new Foster the People record, Sacred Hearts Club came out on July 21st, and it is really good but it stands on the bubble. The record pushes the band’s sound with a hip-hop influence, soulful choruses, and the whimsical nature that the band is known for… But I think that I have sincerely have had enough of whimsy…. I’m not saying the record is bad, Lead track “Pay the Man” is a bouncing, sing along gem. Similarly, “Doing it for the Money” has a tag line that is hard to ignore. “Sit Next to Me” has a groove that is reminiscent of 70s soul, “Static Space Lover” is a romp in the hay where The Beach Boys would be proud. “Lotus Flower” is definitely the albums most rockin’ moment and a damn fine song. The band prefaced Sacred Hearts Club with an EP / extended single for III which appears as the last song on the record and is eerily beautiful with enchanting crescendos and the like.

Now in all my curmudgeonry, the good things I said about the record in the preceding paragraphs are all true, the record is really good. However, there are bits of Sacred Hearts Club that drone on with songs bleeding into the next with similar hip hop beats and breakdowns that really don’t challenge the listener in anyway. It’s good background music, or something to ease tension in a crowd full of people, but nothing that grabs your attention, and in the day and age of everything, all the time, music for the sake of music needs to fight back.

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