It is so easy to make fun of a band because everyone else is. Hell, I do it with Nickelback. And really, when it comes right down to it, what is the big difference between Foster the People and Nickelback?
It is quality songwriting, but let’s not go crazy here. People make fun of Foster the People because, quite honestly, there was no logical reason for Pumped Up Kicks to become the 2011 smash hit that it was. I have heard bands with 35 last.fm followers and a Facebook fan page with less views than my grandmother’s, but they wrote songs with big friendly approachable endearing cute hooks. Pumped Up Kicks is that in just about every way. But why them? What an unfair world we live in where Foster the People hits it out of the park with a derivative trivialized pop song, where all those other bands sulk in obscurity and quick death.
The group’s debut studio album, Torches, is infectious and instantly repeatable. No song is not digestible and heartwarming in some way. Don’t Stop features an amorphic little whistle chant that lights the song up.Houdini breaks open with this absolutely loving lead melody and bombastic drum beat. My personal favorite track on the album is Warrant, which will go overlooked by the masses. But its repetitious drum pattern (agreeably overused by this point) is overshadowed by what is one of the most endearing hooks on the record, and an adorably irresistible lead melody.
People get incredibly worked up over mundane aspects of our reality. They miss the point- crap will never ever ever go to its rightful birthplace. You know why classic stories stand the test of time? It is not because classic are fundamentally better than anything we are doing now (those who say music turned to crap are the worst of the lot). It is because we have gone through that removal process, the fact that time crushes what is irrelevant and the culturally significant rises to the top. We have gone through that sifting process, and that chart-topping single that you despise right now has not gone through that same process.
Will Torches be relevant in the coming years? I highly doubt it. In the meantime, we embrace infectious lovable dance/pop/indie/rock whatever with an approachable and bubblegum fervor. Maybe because we know it won’t last- maybe because we know it really isn’t important. But if Foster the People let’s me forget about what is important for even just a moment, I will let it into my heart to bounce and play along until the next thing comes up and I recycle it appropriately.