>> Wedged between a distant and astral cloud that looks a lot like Morrissey and a fiery sunset that feels like Devo, Foals new album ‘Part 1: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ rests uneasily.
‘Part 1’ is exactly as its namesake implies, as Part 2 of the album will be released in the fall. The splitting of a double album to two separate releases seems strange but as the band told Consequence of Sound “Part 1 ends in a place where almost, to us, it felt like a cliffhanger. It felt like the end of a movie, and album two starts with a response.” It’s almost as if the band released the first one early just to build up to the second one. Foals fans have to be excited about this. The album starts with a slow but melodic wash in “Moonlight.” It causes a slight pause upon entering the album as the lyrics start along with a shimmering guitar introduction. This leads directly into the next track “Exits” with a driving anthemic drum beat. A running theme of analog Flock of Seagulls runs through this track but it escapes sounding like the 1980s. The band self-produced this album and there seems to be some real mastery of the controls in order to effectively tight rope that line for the entire album.
It’s unclear if there is a theme that stretches beyond the regurgitated sound of 1984 but it’s inescapable to think about knowing that the album is supposed to have a Part 2. Part of the album sounds like they’re supposed to be played at MSG in front of 20,000 people and others yet seem misaligned. Lead singer Yannis Philippakis sounds at times like a modern Morrissey but the electronic four-on-the-floor dance beat is closer to Devo and maybe the dichotomy is supposed to conjure art but it offers more confusion than answers. The question that continued to rise is “What’s at stake here?” Where’s the turmoil? Do we have to wait for Part 2? Oddly enough, “On the Luna” has a brief mention of Trump and it may be the only track that feels like a single on the album.
Reverb-heavy vocals and snare drums aside, the call back to the 1980’s sounds of American and British pop is uncanny and interesting. The band seems to be able to pull just about anything off which is evident in songs like “Café D’Athens” and shows range and potential in songs like “White Onions.” They’re talented and there is no disputing that, but there seems to be a lack of direction that the band is heading in. Anthemic stadium rock is very difficult to mesh with ambient and astral experimental music. But there are flashes in both and the band is moving away from the heavier sounds of their first album into something new. The blatantly powerful thing to have done is release both albums in an epic double disc. Holding one back and announcing that seems fidgety and either over-pompous or completely timid. Hopefully, Part 2 will clear up the distractions. 3.2/5 <<
Listen to 'Part 1 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost' HERE!
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