Foals’ new record displays a clear shift in style from their previous records, however overstays it’s welcome long enough to become a slog to sit through.
On March 8th, British rock band Foals released their fifth studio album “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1” with a second album soon to come in Autumn. The band have had massive success with their previous records, most notably their last two releases 2013’s “Holy Fire” and 2015’s “What Went Down,” with the former even making it onto my list of favourite albums from the last decade. With their most recent album, the group have switched up their style to incorporate a much more funky groove to their tracks. Due to the previous experiences I’ve had with Foals’ music and the beautifully intriguing album artwork, it would be an understatement to say I was excited for this record. Did it hold up to expectations? Here are my thoughts.
The album begins with an underwhelming track titled “Moonlight”. There’s not really much to be said about the track, other than I remember almost nothing about it, which is arguably an even greater crime than writing a bad song. The album’s second track and lead single “Exits” seems intriguing enough upon first listen, with a groovy bass-line and charismatic drumming. However as time goes on the song does get a little boring and repetitive. What could possibly make a boring song worse? Making it just under six-minutes long! The following track “White Onions” built my hopes up at the start with infectiously catchy instrumentals, however the vocals in this song by front-man Yannis Philippakis are undeniably irritating. It felt a slight waste to have such a poor vocal melody over such great music.
The record does have a few moments of undeniably great music over different tracks. The first song on the LP that stood out to me was “On The Luna”. This number is by far the most fluid and catchy on the record. “In Degrees” is another euphonic cut from “Everything Not Saved…” and is captivating instantly, however doesn’t quite have the replayability of “On The Luna”. The album’s final two tracks are the standouts for me, with “Sunday” and “I’m Done with the World (& It’s Done with Me)”. Both of these songs serve as great penultimate and final tracks respectively, with the former being a hands-in-the-air, happy ending piece, and the latter being a slow, melancholic piano ballad.
This record was a very odd experience for me to not only listen to, but to analyse and break down. It took me around 4 attempts to listen to it in it’s entirety as I always found myself either uninterested or bored. As I already mentioned, there are some good cuts here, however Foals kept dragging the journey back down with uninteresting tracks like “Cafe D’Athens.” Between the band overstaying their welcome with all the five-plus minute tracks, and Philippakis crooning in his best Morrissey impersonation, “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1” is in my opinion, Foals’ weakest record to date by far. It pains me to say so, as I’ve loved nearly everything the band has put out to this point, but this LP just didn’t strike a chord with me.