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Torches "Foster the People"

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Album review

Foster the People
Torches
[Columbia]

The title of this the first album from the indie pop band from Los Angeles suggests that someone in the group is holding a torch of love for a girl. Listen to two tracks on the album that was released worldwide May 23, 2011 and there is a clear theme: lovelorness. Clearly someone in the band of 20-somethings including Mark Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar, programming and percussion), Mark Ponitus (drums and extra percussion) and Cubbie Fink (bass and backing vocals) has loved and lost. 

The first track, "Helena Beat" is just that: a beat-filled song about a girl named Helena. It emanates an almost sing-a-long chorus, with lots of fast beats, a catchy chorus and programmed mixes that are the highlight of the song. This track sets up the listener for the love lost theme that most of the album will take on. 

The second track is the radio hit "Pumped up People," which clearly designates itself as such. This is possibly one of the only tracks with character and mainstream appeal that most albums require nowadays. 

"Call It What You Want" is the most soulful of the selections, with a more impressively written chorus and strong beats to accompany what appears to be the biggest range lead singer Foster has. 

By the time "Don't Stop" rolls around as the forth selection on the album, one really hopes for something to spark a greater interest in this supposed up and coming group. Unfortunately for the young band, the track screams a Weezer knock-off and it sounds familiar, not in a thankful way. The listener surely will want something more to differentiate this band from every young indie pop group springing up. 

"Waste" and "I Would Do Anything For You" put the nail in the coffin for this lovelorn album. With juvenile lyrics and a limited vocal range, the tracks will lend themselves successfully to the next teen dream movie or WB drama. Surely, the album will gain popularity amongst that demographic, but the mature and insightful audience will be utterly disappointed with this first attempt from the band.

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