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4.5 out of 5 stars
Torches
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109 of 118 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 31, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I first heard of Foster the People early one morning while laying in bed half asleep listening to an NPR interview with Mark Foster, founder of the group. The interviewer peppered the piece with clips of songs from the "Torches" album, which was just about to be released. I remember finding the tunes very catchy even in my half-dazed slumber. I made a mental note to listen to the album tracks more thoroughly on iTunes before making a decision to buy "Torches". I loved what I heard and quickly purchased the album here on Amazon. I've listened to it nonstop ever since it arrived several days ago. I'm really amazed that I'm so taken with this work particularly in light of the obvious fact that it is somewhere between shameless bubble gum and light pop. Some have called it "alternative", but I honestly don't see it. Anyway, I think my attraction to "Torches" is it's infectiously upbeat Southern California sunniness. It just makes me happy (even the relatively disturbing subject matter of "Pumped Up Kicks"). I think this band is going to be immensely popular for pretty much the same reason someone like Katie Perry is much loved - they put big smiles on the faces of their followers. They're not for everyone, but they're definitely for me!
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Torches is an apt album title for a band that is burning up the charts right now. You can say this band sounds like groups who have pioneered a similar sound such as MGMT, Passion Pit, or Yeasayer... but I would argue this band is different in that they temper their sound. They go to that edge of experimental, but they don't go over it. The result, is nothing short of perfection. You can call it radio friendly, or shallow, but I challenge you to actually listen to the lyrics and understand that there are many layers of sound and complex, thought-provoking lyrics to back it up. This group is here to stay, and at the rate they are going, they will be headlining across the world very soon.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Foster the People burst on to the alternative music scene when their first single, Pumped Up Kicks, began receiving heavy airplay in the latter months of 2010. The track details an eerie account of a latchkey kid, whose distorted reality leads him to wield a weapon and deliver the ominous warning, "better run, better run, faster than my bullet." The song's upbeat and cavalier style, which bears a striking contrast to the sinister lyrical content, piqued the interest of listeners and earned Foster the People instant notoriety. However, their EP album was simply a tease, and it left their newfound devotees clamouring for more. The release of their first full length album, Torches, is the antidote to the feverish pleadings of their trip hop-craved following.

The group's global sound alludes to something like a fusion of MGMT and Passion Pit's signature electronica stylings, with a hint of Two Door Cinema Club thrown in the mix. The heavy hooks and infectious rhythms are practically begging to be absorbed with the car windows rolled down and the volume jacked up, whilst head bobbing and steering wheel tapping ensue. A combination of reverb-heavy synths and sleek instrumentation, in addition to the laconic delivery of alluring, intentionally repetitive lyrics, create dance-worthy tracks that are both accessible and instantly endearing.

Despite the fact that it is a debut album, Torches is certain to leave Foster the People deeply entrenched in the alternative landscape. Not all of the songs contain the magical elements that garnered the attention of "Pumped up Kicks," but they do coalesce to form a uniquely satisfying auditory experience. Furthermore, although there is a notable lack of diversity amongst tracks, they have established a formula that doesn't eagerly invite tampering. This is certainly a group worth following, as their raw potential is largely uncharted in an industry that seems preoccupied with providing easily digestible, ubiquitous pop to the masses.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a highly anticipated CD release by the trio of Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink & Mark Ponitus since forming the band Foster The People in the late 2009. This great effort CD release (10 tracks), titled 'Torches' opens with a solid track/gem/stand-out track "Helena Beat" : a techno-pop track with wonderful high pitched vocals & melody. This is my favourite track from this CD & hence the title of my review. "Pumped Up Kicks" is a great 'altered voiced' second track. Other great tracks include "Call It What You Want" (up-tempo track with great vocals & melody), "Waste", "I Would Do Anything For You" (beautiful vocals/keyboard combination) & "Houdini" (a techno-pop-dance track with some interesting whistling sounds). Okay tracks include "Don't Stop (Color On The Walls)", "Life On The Nickel", "Miss You" (rather 'noisy' music track with good vocals) & "Warrant" (up-tempo track with drum/techno sound/bass combination). The band is heavily influenced by alternative greats & dance/techno sounds producing interesting pop/dance sound. Foster The People debuts here with the CD 'Torches' to light up the way to a successful career from here henceforth, a recommended CD listening.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
It's been over a year since "Pumped Up Kicks" was first playing on a few of the stations I listen to, and it's finally a part of an album. You have no idea how happy I am about that.
What's even better is that the whole album is pure *awesome*. If I were a more musically-minded reviewer, I'd go into detail of each song's sound and the overall effect of the album, but I'm the other kind of artist and mostly my opinion condenses down to "amazing." I've been listening to this on repeat all day, and I've yet to get bored. I initially tried to list the particular songs I loved, but it soon became clear that I enjoy the entire album in a way I very seldom do.
If you liked "Pumped Up Kicks" and/or "Helena Beats" & "Houdini" from the EP, you definitely want to download the rest of the songs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Various versions of this album exist. If you are taking the time to research which songs are part of each one in order to get as many tracks as possible, this might help you. I purchased this knowing it was 15 tracks & crossing my fingers that it wouldn't just be bonus remixes.

JP Limited Edition (2011 Sony Music Japan International Inc.) [UPC 4 547366 061888]

Here is the track listing:
01 Helena Beat
02 Pumped Up Kicks
03 Call It What You Want
04 Don't Stop [Color On The Walls]
05 Waste
06 I Would Do Anything For You
07 Houdini
08 Life On The Nickel
09 Miss You
10 Warrant
bonus tracks
11 Broken Jaw
12 Love
13 Chin Music For The Unsuspecting Hero
14 Pumped Up Kicks [The Knocks Speeding Bullet Remix]
15 Houdini [RAC Remix]

There are two insert booklets included, one (color) English and one (b&w) Japanese. The English insert includes lyrics to all of the standard version tracks (01-10). Fear not, the Japanese insert, which is a little smaller (and fits well in the fold of the other for safe storage), has the lyrics for the bonus tracks in both English and Japanese.

I'm not actually sure if "Broken Jaw" is available on CD other than the JP LE. It is available in digital via non-Amz & is a stand-out track (hence the finger crossing, heh). "Love" and "Chin Music" can be found on the Columbia Deluxe Edition, but I paid less for this one than that version would have cost me online (and as for trying to find one from BestBuy, I could not).

As for the music, it's indie dance pop bliss. Each song has unique musical aspects, but overall the sound remains uniform, so transitions throughout are kept smooth. Lyrically, the album is very entertaining, often amusing. The tracks are upbeat and uptempo, & there are many moments which give you a time-travel rush, so if you dig the first couple of tracks, you are unlikely to get bored with the extended playlist.

I urge you to, if undecided, taste first. All of the bonus tracks can be found for a quick (fan-provided) stream, and some of the standard tracks can be streamed from the official Foster the People site.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Five stars. Ten stars. A hundred stars. I regret giving five stars to anything in the past, because none of it approaches how mind-blowingly awesome this album is.

As others have said, Foster the People are masters of alternative/indie dance rock. I've seen the comparisons to MGMT and Passion Pit, but this is so much more. Those bands are midgets compared to this giant. Every single song on this album is a hit, better than any hit by any band of this nature in recent memory. Every. Single. Song. The beats and hooks are simply unbelievable.

This album will make you dance until you pass out. It will cheer you up when you are having the worst day of your life. It will make you drive fast and scream along in public, embarrassing yourself. If you listen to this in bed with headphones on, you will dance in your bed and wake up your significant other.

I am honestly grateful that this band exists and that I have found them. I have not felt this way about music in a long time - possibly ever. Buy this, and buy a copy for everyone you care about in the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This album is awesome beginning to end!!! Mark Foster is so talented to have put together such a unique sound. I can play this over & over & never get tired of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
This album is amazing!!!! I love every single song. Mark Foster has an incredible voice and the sounds are hypnotizing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Foster the People's sound is very unique and I have to admit I like this album a lot! It is only 10 songs but just the uptempo beats and the whole group's voice blends in together. What may be annoying to others, is sweet melody and the sound of greatness in my ear!!
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