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Total Life Forever

They do make em' like this anymore

Rating: 8 / 10

Paul Nolan, 19 May 2010

One of the most important aspects of Foals’ new album is that it’s a pretty feelgood kind of affair. I appreciate that some folks feel that the Oxford quintet’s brand of danceable punk-funk is hopelessly derivative, but even someone familiar with the output of Gang Of Four, Delta 5, Shriekback and the whole Disco Not Disco axis would still like the cut of Yannis and co’s gib.

The boys are past masters at rhythmical alchemy, and this record positively brims with inspired grooves. One of Foals’ hallmarks is the combination of post-rock atmospherics with funky basslines and crisp percussion, a neat trick they utilise to stunning effect on the opening ‘Blue Blood’. ‘Miami’ is a glorious mixture of Beloved-style electro and throbbing bass, while ‘Black Gold’ is a full-on dance workout likely to go down a storm in a live setting.

They slow the tempo for the dazzling one-two of ‘Spanish Sahara’ (the first single, which also boasts a wonderfully eerie video courtesy of Dave Ma), and ‘This Orient’. Unabashedly emotional, these epic ballads prove that Foals have plenty of heart and soul to go along with the fun and frolics.

Total Life Forever boasts an ace cover – the five band members pictured underwater, with sunshine tunnelling in from above – proving that even in the midst of the Classic Album’s supposed iPod precipitated demise, good taste and attention to detail will always win through. The summer starts here.

Rating: 8 / 10
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