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CD of The Week

Week of 6/20/22

    Foals - Life Is Yours (ADA / Q Prime)

    When we last heard from Foals, the veteran UK rockers went big with their most ambitious release ever: the two-part Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost back in 2019. As we all know, a lot has changed since then… in fact, the band had to scrap their entire 2020 world tour in support of Everything Not Saved… plus founding member Edwin Congreave left to go back to school, leaving Foals a trio.

    However, the group opted to kick against the darkness of the world by recording their seventh album Life is Yours, a hopeful dance party waiting for a world that desperately needs one. The title track kicks off the album right on the dance floor. With its bouncy 80s synth-pop beats and faux cowbell, Foals are aiming somewhere between the Human League and Prince here. “Life Is Yours” lays out the hopefulness the group is aiming for, as frontman Yannis Philippakis sings, “Now that the great storm is over” and “I can see the start of a brand new day.”

    Lead single “Wake Me Up” is pure sonic exuberance, with its poppy guitars and pushing pulse.
    “2001” (just two years after “1999!”) is all about the light at the end of the tunnel: “I've been waiting all day inside/Waiting for a summer sky/When we run wild/We'll come up for air and go under again.”

    “2am” may seem to reminisce about fun days/nights as Philippakis sings “It's 2am and I've gone and lost my friends / But I can't sleep alone again” but it’s really about a lost love somewhere amongst those partygoers. In fact, as you’d expect with just about any rock record that’s this upbeat, there’s more than enough darkness lurking in those lyrics along the way, such as the sad look back at a past life in “Looking High”

    Foals have usually stuck to widescreen rockers or sprawling epics in the past, but Life is Yours tightly stays in its own lane. For better or worse, the record keeps the same streamlined, rave-adjacent vibe throughout, but gets a bit redundant halfway through.

    While we are certainly not in a “post-COVID” world by any means, on Life is Yours, Foals look ahead to the future and all its possibilities, both good and bad. Foals are set to return to Philadelphia at The Franklin Music Hall on December 14th.

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    Review by Joey O.

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