As I like to compare the modern arts to literature and previous works with the current ones, there is absolutely no denying how anticipated Supermodel has been after engraving success of their previous album, Torches, with a multi-platinum single in the form of Pumped Up Kids, would see the band make shift into a direction and experiment on songs and tones that they aren't used to. Will the band expose their mistakes or will they carve a new route onto even bigger pastures?
Let's be honest, Foster The People got me on my feet with the singles from Torches, an album that undeniably sunk in with ambitious tracks (Call It What You Want, Don't Stop, Houdini, and of course the lead single, Pumped Up Kicks) that worked insanely well because of how groovy the tracks were meant to set out to be, despite the pretentious tracks behind it's pillar singles that never really got to see the light of day. Although the lyricism does exact a different punch, Torches, albeit an indie record, surpassed expectations and became one of the best albums of that very year. And with their recent new single, Coming of Age, I had a very bad feeling with the song, and soon, the album.
Bands taking directions, you've heard of it and you've seen it. Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, Paramore, the list goes on for the mainstream bands, but what really got the project running was the inevitable hardcore fan-base that really rallied behind the bands when they needed support for the new music. And I am a big fan of Foster The People in which they undoubtedly won me over single-handedly with their debut album, but I really cannot avoid the fact that Coming of Age is at most blatantly decent and that brick blocking it from achieving higher things will probably not be washed out. You could say Pumped Up Kicks wouldn't have the exact same popularity it deserved, but 2011 was the year in which indie-pop and most indie-rock bands shone. Fun., for example, broke through with We Are Young a year later and caught on to people because of what they set out to be. Though Nate Ruess and Mark Foster are exact opposites (Nate doesn't do falsettos, Mark doesn't do high notes), their music felt at least capable of drawing listeners. I couldn't feel that straight out of the gate with Supermodel.
It's not an underrated album, and it's probably sub-par in very wide regions that is exceedingly visible for all to see. Coming of Age, while not terrible, does provide the forgiving catchy hook that balances the harmony, while the entire album itself falls off on the wayside. Straight from the get-go, the ambitious, yet un-fortuitous opening track Are You What You Want To Be?, showcased brilliance and intellect, but at the same time a repetitive experience with an awkward melody lines that barely feels decent. As much as it is ambitious, it falls flat. And hard. With a big loud thud. Same goes to Nevermind and Best Friend, which has a cheeky undertone, full of overdressed melodies and is just trickled with wrong vocals over-stepping each other all the way. So many tracks just feel obsessive on their own that feel as if they had been stripped of a monotone vocal from Mark, who overdid it on the most part, would've been much, much better. It wasn't a fluke that Torches became a highlight of 2011 and became a transcendence for other bands to be influenced (tick the box that has the name Imagine Dragons).
In fact, the best songs on the album are probably the stripped ones that contains much more sincerity than the others. My favourite one has to be Fire Escape, and to an extent, Goats In Trees. The acoustic sounds of these tracks level up the over-pounding mayhem that is caused by the rumbling of the other tracks, and prove to be sophisticating and also compelling, rather than being overly ambitious and seeing the downfall straight away. That said, effort was definitely not absent, but the experimentation seemed to become dysfunctional for the band, being overly flamboyant on the subjects and never really putting their foot into it. While it's not a simplified bad album, it's nowhere near good nor great.
Favourite Tracks: Fire Escape, Goats In Trees, The Truth
Least Favourite Tracks: Nevermind, Best Friend
I wouldn't care if experimentation was used on an external play record or somewhere along those lines, but too much of an overdoes definitely doesn't exaggerate and could readily fail upon impact. Foster The People, while Supermodel does tirelessly clock down it's efforts and proves to be ambitious, lyrically, it's decent and the plan worked on selling and about the consumers. However, there is obviously no other reason why the band cannot churn out a record that is just simply better than what they have in their hands. Supermodel is a disaster for the most part, and a probably a modern artwork at best.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.