Foals Foals have finally returned with their second album, Total Life Forever. It may have only been two years since the release of their debut album, Antidotes, but this new album, or any sign of life, to be honest, has been long-awaited. I last saw the band at Leeds Festival in 2008, and haven’t heard anything from them since. And what a return they have brought to our attention.
Soft chimes from the finger-picking of guitars that we recognize so dearly are mixed with hushed vocals to brilliantly introduce the album with ‘Blue Blood‘. You will be surprised, there’s no doubt about that; I thought I was listening to the new Mystery Jets album. Frontman Yannis Philippakis has given up the yelling for a…how can I describe it…folky whisper. Foals have gone at this in the completely opposite direction. Instead of feet-tapping beats that gave them their originality, we are now treated to something more serene.
You may be disappointed if you were expecting a ‘Hummer‘; Foals thrilling guitar riffs have been turned down a notch. The focus has been replaced on expressing a deep emotion through Yannis’ matured vocals, thus putting emphasis on the lyrics. ‘Spanish Sahara‘ is very similar in style: “I’m the fury in your head, I’m the fury in your bed, I’m the ghost in the back of your head.”
The songs average at about 6 minutes long, each slowly picking up pace about halfway through. This Youthmovies feel to the album is what gives it its tranquil composure. But that’s not to say that any of this is a bad thing; the album is brilliant, it’s just not Foals as we know them. This new album shows them at a new level, presenting a sound that they have long been striving for.