Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

Foster the People is the latest Indie band to have a mainstream breakthrough with their latest hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.” They’ve been getting some impressive attention for this being only their debut album and the song has been getting some rave reviews. Is it worth all of the attention? Is this band the latest fad, or do they have the substance to stand next to Indie bands like Mumford and Sons, Kings of Leon, and Arcade Fire? Here’s my review of “Pumped Up Kicks.”

The Good;

  • Can I express how much I love the lyrics. Maybe it isn’t so much the lyrics as it is the manner in which they are delivered. You’d expect a lyric like “Better run, better run, faster than my bullet,” to be delivered with aggression and angst. The light and ironic tone the band uses is simply genius.
  • While the lyrics are quite dark, I really do appreciate the message behind the song. Bullying is not ok, and that is the overall moral.
  • The song itself has a unique sound, which combines California surfer rock with Brit-pop. Its hypnotic bass line is simply mesmerizing, and the laid back beat has a cool-without-even-trying flair.
  • The chorus will hook you in, make no mistake about that. The melody is simply infectious, and will find a pleasant home inside your head.

The Bad;

  • The vocals are heavily filtered in the verses, which is both interesting and boring. While it may be interesting to listen to, I find that I tend to drift off during the verses, waiting for the chorus to come back.
  • The whistling is annoying. I’ll just say it. I hate the whistling. It isn’t catchy, it isn’t fun…its annoying.
  • Many elements of this song seem to have been borrowed from other sources. Everything from the ironic Indie-pop image, the catchy hook, and the radio friendly beat has been done before. The only thing thats original…is the combination of said elements into one song.

The Verdict; Good
“Pumped Up Kicks” is cool, refreshing, meaningful, and above all else, fun and addictive. Foster the People have managed to create a really cool sound, and although it does seem to borrow heavily from other sources, they’ve managed to perfect the concoction into something fresh and new. I’m digging “Pumped Up Kicks,” and I really hope to see how the band fares in the future.


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