Album Review: Holy Fire

600px-Holy_Fire_II Holy Fire (2013)

Album Rating: 3.5/5
Album Length: Just Right
Album Feel: Yes

The math-rock group Foal has released their third studio album, Holy Fire, a Talking Heads/ Unforgivable Fire lovechild who’s percussive strumming, and echoing arpeggiated flurries of harmonics form a soundscape of endless dimensions seldom found in today’s music, making Holy Fire an early contender for album of the year in 2013.

Foals have improved with each passing album and continue to expand their sound while refining their identity.  The one-two punch of the album’s lead singles  “Inhaler” and “My Number” is the perfect representation of the bands current sound; a user-friendly mix of Foals-ian syncopations, funky bass lines, and early 90’s pop charisma.  The tracks, and album as a whole, are more radio friendly with easier melodic lines to follow this time around.  But the new accessibility in no way takes from their creativeness or originality, as shown in the more aggressive and experimental “Providence,” and the fast harmonics in the album’s most invigorating track “Milk and Black Spiders.”

No songs jump out right away like “Blue Blood” or “Red Socks Pugie” did on previous albums, but the collective of tracks work together just as well, if not more so, than before.  Holy Fire’s strength is that no song is as seemingly out of place as Miami was on Total Love Forever, and even weaker tracks like “Stepson” and “Late Night” have their moments.

Key Tracks: “Milk and Black Spiders”, “My Number,” “Bad Habit”, “Inhaler”
Worst Tracks: “Stepson”

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