Foals: Life Is Yours (ADA/Warner UK Ltd.) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Foals

Life Is Yours

ADA/Warner UK Ltd.

Aug 22, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Foals is a band that has tried a lot of things. After four album cycles of distinct sonic evolutions, 2019 saw Yannis Philippakis and co. attempt to cohere every aspect of their “sound” together on the grandiose, and overstuffed, double-album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Parts 1 and 2. Then the pandemic lockdown grounded Foals from tour, and it seems to have worn out their desire to keep making things bigger. Their new album Life Is Yours is a lean, tight album, comparatively speaking, and it’s better for it.

It’s interesting to see how different artists have responded to the pandemic in similar ways; like Drake and Beyoncé’s new releases, Life Is Yours’ singular goal is to get physical and make you dance. Bursting with energy, almost every track is impossible not to tap your foot to. The first five songs sound almost like they could have come from a single euphoric jam session. “Wake Me Up” is an absolute banger, but the side A highlight is “2001,” with its air of summery nostalgia and its bass-solo outro. It’s exciting to hear Foals so locked-in. The mix smartly emphasizes Jack Bevan’s drums, trusting Philippakis to handle the melody and letting the guitars and synths create a layered atmosphere. And the band manages to maintain this sound over the album’s first half without sounding samey, which is impressive.

The second half of Life Is Yours is where Foals get more adventurous, punctuated with retreats to familiarity. “Crest of the Wave” is effective, but sounds like it could have been on any Foals album since 2012. “Flutter” features a cool, rhythmic shuffle, but its reliance on a bluesy guitar riff for the chorus is very What Went Down. In between, though, we get the clubby bounce of “Under the Radar” (we especially like this one for some reason). And then “The Sound” and “Wild Green” make for the best ending to any Foals album thus far, the former track building up to a layered, breathless climax; the latter riding a hypnotic electro-groove all the way into the sunset. They are a restless band, yes, but Life Is Yours proves that a narrower focus can bring the most returns. (www.foals.co.uk)

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