wed 17/07/2019

CD: Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

CD: Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Smart Power Pop strikes again

Foals: an album made for partying and dancing

Foals have delivered a consistently top-notch series of albums (this is their fifth since Antidotes in 2008): guitar-led, high-energy, musically literate without being effete or pompous. Power pop elevated beyond the run-of-the-mill by a great deal of intelligence and taste.

The latest album is the first of a pair (a kind of delayed-release double album) and once again, the band, who are no doubt at their best as a very exciting live act, have made an album rich in material that will stand the test of time, and yet feels very fresh. That frontman Yannis Philippakis should hail from the hill village Olympos at the heart of the remote island of Karpathos, halfway between Rhodes and Crete, and should have been brought up on Greek traditional music, is hardly evident in the vibrant rock that Foals create, but it explains perhaps how they've always managed to feel outside the mould, even though they are a classic guitar-driven band.

Vocals are only part of a rich texture in which guitars lead with soaring melodic lines while also providing delicate yet insistent rhythmic riffs. These guys have grown up with soukous from Central Africa as well as Steve Reich’s minimalism and trance-inducing repetition. Just as Talking Heads did in the 1970s – a band with which Foals are sometimes compared – the deep roots in Africa, with a music that speaks to heart and body as much as the brain, are obvious.

This is an exhilarating album, made for dancing and partying. It is also, as demonstrated on tracks such as “Syrups” and “On The Luna”, sophisticated in terms of layered production – the tightly orchestrated guitars underpinned by glorious sheets of keyboard and synthesizer and well-placed backing vocals.  There are surprises too, such as the cooling and mysterious marimba sounds in “Café d’Athens”, and the chilling-out phase of this rave of an album, with the last two tracks “Sunday” and “I'm Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me)”.The latter is a bucolic bit of romance, in which the febrile guitars that drive the rest of the album are left behind. There is a moment of rest, soothing and delightful.

 

 

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