Jake Tapley

For their sophomore release, Foster the People said they wanted to try something different from their critically acclaimed debut album, “Torches.”

First, they wanted to make a concept album-which I think worked in their favor. The lyrics on “Supermodel” are consistent and give it an overall dark atmosphere.

Next, they wanted to expand their sound – another good choice.

The opening track, and one of my personal favorites on the record, “Are You What You Want To Be?” displays the band’s evolution of sound, incorporating world music, such as a notable African influence.

Another personal favorite is the song “Best Friend,” a beautifully crafted piece of psychedelic pop music.

Amid it’s infectious guitar, groovy bass line and super catchy falsetto vocals, I felt temporarily transported to the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Unfortunately for Foster the People, it seems the tradeoff for having a bolder record is having one with weaker, less memorable tracks.

The lead single is the song “Coming of Age,” which is devoid of the pop hooks heard in “Pumped up Kicks.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad song. It’s a bad single.

But, I like the direction the band is headed with “Supermodel.” It answers the primary problem I had with their previous album – the “cookie-cutter” songwriting.

With approximately 48 minutes of run time, the band has exceeded the length of “Torches” by nearly ten minutes.

Given the genre and number of tracks, maybe Foster the People could afford to be a little more concise.

“Supermodel” is available for purchase on iTunes.