‘Supermodel’ fosters melody

By Pat Quinn

Indie, alternative rock group Foster the People’s sophomore album, “Supermodel,” combines intricate percussion parts with satisfying melodies.

The five-year-old California band has developed a unique alternative sound that carried over well from its first album, “Torches.” Audiences will find some familiarity with this album, as the band clearly identified its earlier musical strengths.

“Coming of Age”

Although vocalist Mark Foster sings about dark topics, like fear and suffering, in “Coming of Age,” the U2-like instrumentation makes this track thrive.

The percussion is consistent and subtle. The drums are not overbearing, unlike in other Foster the People songs. With this comfortable balance, “Coming of Age” is a standout track in “Supermodel.”

Foster’s intense lyrical metaphors of animals and nature paint a clear picture for the audience. The creative percussion parts and thought-provoking lyrics make “Coming of Age” one of the stronger tunes of the album.

“Are You What You Want to Be?”

The creative opening track, “Are You What You Want to Be?,” has noticeable pep.

The fast cowbell, snare and keyboard give the opener an African-sounding vibe. The worldly, quickened verses add a nice contrast to the punchy and head-nodding chorus. This verse-to-chorus distinction keeps Foster fans interested.

Besides an interlude, Foster the People strategically has all tracks on the album more than four minutes long. The opener’s 40-second build-up into the heart of “Are You What You Want to Be?” is a perfect example of the group’s awareness of time.

“Pseudologia Fantastica”

Foster the People’s recognizable sound is an innovative combination of percussion with features of instrument voicing.

“Pseudologia Fantastica” demonstrates the group’s versatile voice fluctuation. The chorus and the verse use an impressive range of vocal patterns. The track name is unique, but it stands out with melody, too. “Pseudologia Fantastica” re-jump-starts it.

“The Truth”

This album’s biggest flaw is its second-to-last track. The single-heavy and drowsy electric tone immensely slows down the tune and the album. When Foster sings, “and I’m tired,” I said, “me, too” and moved to the next track.

The intentional blaring chorus wasn’t enough of a wake-up call to keep me interested. The truth is, “The Truth” was not for me.