Foals – Life Is Yours (Album Review)

Foals – Life Is Yours (Album Review)

With a history dating back to 2005 when they formed in Oxford, England, over a span of seventeen years the hardworking and considerably prolific Foals has on its members’ sleeves an impressive discography. Topping charts along away, they have released seven full-length albums in total, from 2008’s Antidotes to their most recent, Life Is Yours.

Released on Friday June 17, 2022, via Warner/Transgressive/ADA Records, Life Is Yours is the band’s first since 2019’s Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 & 2.  Preceded by five singles, it is a collection of eleven mirrorball-shiny and dancefloor-worthy songs. It all starts with the title-track, which straightaway exudes energy of ’80s Dance-oriented New Wave in the veins of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” Bronski Beat’s “Hit that Perfect Beat,” and Alphaville’s “Big in Japan.” It is then followed by the angular and funky “Wake Me Up”; reminiscent of the Chic-inspired Duran Duran. This is while the ensuing “2 a.m.” then pumps its subtly jazzy Sophistipop tendencies, only to revert to something familiar with the “Notorious” sounding “2001” with its postlude, “Summer Sky.”

The midtempo “Flutter” then sparkles with its tinkling glassy melodies, whereas “Looking High” conjures an image of tropical-resort revelers. “Under the Radar” is a bit subdued and loungy, but still stands out with its bass thumps and baritone vocals. Relaxing the mood, “Crest of the Wave” is classy and sophisticated. The penultimate track, “The Sound” then showcases its faint, Ska-glazed guitar-synth interplay; it will fit onto a playlist that includes General Public’s “Tenderness,” Spandau Ballet’s “Chant no. 1 [I Don’t Need This Pressure On],” and Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.” Finally, Foals wraps up Life Is Yours with “Wild Green,” which undulates and swirls its Shoegaze/Dreampop sensibilities.

Their first album as a trio – Yannis Phillipakis (lead vocals, lead guitar, bass), Jack Bevan (drums, percussion), and Jimmy Smith (rhythm guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals) – Foals vibes off the sound of its influences well. From Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet to Franz Ferdinand and Two Door Cinema Club, its blend of New Wave, Post-Punk, and Dance Rock shines brilliantly. Life Is Yours beautifully illustrates such sonic and stylistic confection and that is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out if 5 stars.

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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