FOSTER THE PEOPLE’S ‘TORCHES’ AND OTHER NEW RX RECOMMENDATIONS

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Torches has sunk its teeth in and has me mindlessly head-bobbing along with its relentlessly perky beat. It seems sort of single-minded in its pursuit of sugar-coated melodies — as much so as anything since The Kooks’ last album, another polarizing release — but it’s remarkably successful in achieving its aims, and sounds much like what I suppose casual MGMT fans were hoping Congratulations was going to sound like.

Despite its perpetual chirpiness, the record isn’t exactly as light as it might seem on the surface. The opener “Helena Beat” seems to hint at the meaninglessness and emptiness of the party scene, though the irony is that, unless you’re looking to please a hip-hop or country crowd, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better party soundtrack than Torches. And of course, “Pumped Up Kicks” conjures up images of exacting revenge on trend-hopping posers, but again, with this set of ten electro-pop confections, Foster the People seem like quite the bunch of bandwagon jumpers themselves. Are these tongue-in-cheek jokes or actual commentary disguised as slick pop jingles? Who knows? Fuck it, who cares? As they themselves sing, “Call it what you want.”Absolute Punk

OTHER NEW CD RECOMMENDATIONS:

Stephen Marley Revelation Part I: The Root of Life
She Wants Revenge Valleyheart
Against Me! Total Clarity
Amon Tobin Isam
Aerosmith Tough Love: The Best of the Ballads
David Bazan Strange Negotiations
Thurston Moore Demolished Thoughts
Boris Attention Please
Friendly Fires Pala
Jadakiss I Love You (A Dedication to My Fans)
Joseph Arthur Graduation Ceremony
Prodigy Worlds on Fire

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