Review: Foster the People – ‘Sacred Hearts Club’

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Foster the People shocked new and old fans alike when they dropped the first single, “Doing It For the Money” off their newest release, Sacred Hearts Club. Infusing R&B elements into this song, it was very unlike Foster’s typical strictly alternative and synth-heavy sound. However, right when listeners were set on Foster the People’s new sound, the band once again flipped the switch.

The next single, “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy,” contains EDM/dance vibes, all while staying true to their sound. Fans weren’t sure what to expect from the full-length album, Sacred Hearts Club, however this amalgamation of different sounding tracks all compliment each other very well.

The third album from this well-versed alternative rock band opens with “Pay the Man,” which was released on the III EP, however, I never fully listened to it and Foster the People were smart with placing this track here. It opens to album and sets the mood for the rest of the tracks to come.

“Sit Next to Me” and “SHC” introduce some synth tones reminiscent of 80’s pop/rock music. Again, the beauty of this album, is that Foster the People didn’t just settle on one specific sound or mood. This aspect is what makes this album so genuine and different from anything I’ve heard from Foster the People in the past. Previously released albums, Torches and Supermodel, showed Foster the People’s distinct, alternative sound. As distinctive as it is, there’s nothing to compare their sound to. It’s a “if you know, you know” sort of situation there. However, the introduction of this sound suits Mark Foster’s voice really well.

About half way through the album, there’s small transition with the track “Orange Dream,” that leads listeners into yet again six more eclectic tracks. Recently, I’ve seen a couple bands begin to incorporate instrumental transitions onto their albums, and I’m a huge fan of this concept. The song “Lotus Eater” sounds almost like modernized punk rock. The track sounds like a normal alternative song, until you hear the infectious guitar riffs that get stuck in your head on rotation. I can see this song being a fan-favorite on the album.

YET AGAIN, on track nine listeners stumble upon another short, transition track on our musical journey throughout Sacred Hearts Club. As short as “Time to Get Closer” is, it’s one of my favorites on this album. I’m a huge fan of Mark Foster’s vocals, how “whiny in a good way” and different they sound from any other artist. However, you can barely tell that it’s Foster singing on this track with how delicate and pure it sound, as opposed to his classic full force and powerful singing style.

Overall, I’m thrilled that Foster the People are finally back with new material. Sacred Hearts Club has truly made me a huge fan of this band. I could never fully get into their previous endeavors, however, this release pulls you in and takes you along for the ride. I applaud Foster for the placement of the tracks on this album. I believe that listeners will be pleasantly surprised by how phenomenal this album turned out to be.


–  Ava Butera