Total Life Forever

Studio Album by released in 2010

Total Life Forever review

Foals’ remarkable potentials

It is always interesting to watch how this or that beginning band’s story is developing. A debut album, then the second and the third works always present different variants, from evolution to absolute identity of the recordings, and only some musicians really manage to outdo themselves each time. Yet sometimes fans should be patient. Anyway, those who paid attention to the young British collective Foals in 2008 seem to have nothing to worry about. It has been only two years since the debut was released, and then we could only guess what destiny was expecting the band. Of course remarkable potentials were easily felt on Antidotes but it often happens that the newcomers on indie scene are only charged for one successful album. Fortunately this did not happen to Foals – Yannis Philippakis and associates have realized their true capabilities in two years, taking all the best of their favorite genres – math rock, punk, indie-rock and electronic music – and that result in the amazing album Total Life Forever.

Each of the compositions on Total Life Forever can boast a soulful melody

The record Total Life Forever can be briefly characterized as follows: the musicians have taken all the best on Antidotes, multiplied it and added even more of its original sound. The guitarist Jimmy Smith has performed in all his beauty on this album, and each of the compositions can boast a soulful melody. The disc opens with Blue Blood with emotional singing, careless guitars and interesting lyrics. A bit different mood is on the track Miami – active drums, falsetto chorus and pretty arrangement create a summer atmosphere whereas the title composition conquers with layered vocal parts and a contagious rhythm. On the whole it is difficult to define the best or the worst track on the album – each of them deserves attention. Take the sullen Black Gold, the lengthiest on the album, the reflective, slow and quiet Spanish Sahara, the first single This Orient based around changeable drums – you will find its own charm on each of them. The record’s final composition What Remains has proved to be one of the most complicated and many-layered pieces in Foals’ entire creative work: powerful vocals, an evasive tune and thoroughly thought arrangement truly deserve praise here. On the Limited Edition version one can hear the songs’ test variants, unexpected arrangements and slight improvisations.

The hints at experimental sounding do not deprive the album of its logic accuracy

It is nice when a not very successful debut album though not devoid of hints at qualified works in the perspective is followed by a record which does not only justify expectations but also exceeds them. Foals’ sophomore effort shatters all doubt concerning the band’s potentials. The philosophic lyrics on a number of compositions, extremely simple and sincere on the others combine with fantastic electronic effects each of which is wonderfully appropriate. On the whole one should note that the entire album Total Life Forever is very calculated and even the hints at experimental sounding on What Remains do not deprive the album of its logic accuracy. This also distinguishes it from its raw predecessor. Thus Foals has raised its level to a significant extent which obviously a risky thing to do because the third album can turn out a real challenge if they still want to preserve the tendency of going up. Anyway, the guys have already proved that the first impression is deceptive so most probably we do have nothing to worry about.