Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#13 Album Of 2010: Total Life Forever - Foals

Total Life Forever

Sub Pop Records.

Original SCQ Review

For about half of 2010, I delayed re-posting my No Ripcord-published review of Total Life Forever because I was planning to re-write it. Not that I sounded like a complete contrarian in that write-up, but it certainly presented a reviewer still holding the record at arm’s length. For whatever reason, Foals sophomore took me months to piece together as more than a series of escalating indie-rock hooks, although now it’s difficult to dissect a single cut from its tight yet airy song-cycle.

Curiously, I now only appear a contrarian in regards to Total Life Forever’s final two cuts, which most fans have labeled as the record’s low point. For a band like Foals, who are approaching the glass ceiling as far as indie levels of accessibility are concerned, ‘2 Trees’ and ‘What Remains’ represent key opportunities to change course before they're too late (and by “too late”, I mean “Kings Of Leon”). Foals walk a tightrope in that respect, resting comfortably on a fresh sound, but Total Life Forever never caves to any strain of keeping the balance. A wonderful pop album, in part because it desires to be more.

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