REVIEW: Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1

Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1

★★★★☆

Out March 8th, 2018 | Check it out on Spotify

I’ll admit it: I’ve never really listened to Foals, but I think that’s going to change. I also got them mixed up with Band of Horses (it could happen to anyone!) and was about to write about how I saw them play at Osheaga in 2014, but, well… That was Band of Horses.

And yes, this is a pretty high profile album to be writing about in my first ever (published) album review, but I won’t pretend to be any sort of expert on the subject. If you’re like me and find yourself asking “what should I listen to on Spotify this week?” then my reviews should be good enough to give you an idea of what you’ll like or dislike.

New to Foals? Check out this playlist on Spotify to get caught up.

Quickie album review

★★★★☆ — Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1 is the first in a two-part album, with Part 2 set to come out this fall. To me it sounds a lot different than some of their earlier music, which can be a good or bad thing depending if you prefer a band to evolve over time or stay the same album after album. I’ll break the album down by overall sound, my favourite lyrics and the top songs to give you an idea of whether or not it’s something you’d like.

Sound

Each song on ENSWBL sounds a bit different, with some being more safe-for-radio than other more, uh, musically experimental songs. I would mention the plethora of different instruments and production techniques used on this album, if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t know what they’re called. I’m not a music major!

But I can tell you that the singles that came out at the beginning of the year didn’t really give listeners an idea of what the rest of the album would sound like, as they fall more firmly in the safe-for-radio category, as most singles usually do.

Lyrics

If you listen to music for the lyrics, this may not be the album for you. Not to say the lyrics are bad, but on the first listen I had no idea what lead vocalist Yannis Philippakis was saying. I find it similar to Bon Iver in that way, in that you know the lyrics are probably deep and meaningful and will be tattooed on someone’s arm at some point, but they’re masked by the synthy sounds.

When you do really listen (or just look up the lyrics online), it’s evident that the overall theme of the album isn’t exactly uplifting. The lyrics can be interpreted in many ways, from commentary on the state of the world we live in to deadbeat dads to failing relationships — but what stands out more to me is how the music is mixed, as the vocals combine with the beat to create an experience and tell the story of pain, fear, and heartache.

If the devil wants me /
Tell him I got high /
'Cause life is what you make it /
You got yours and I got mine

“In Degrees” – Foals

Top songs

“Exits” — The single that most everyone has probably heard is a totally different experience than the rest of the album, but that’s not a bad thing! It’s a gentler tune with lyrics you can understand and sing along to on your drive to work.

“White Onions”: — A song you can dance to on an indie record always holds a special place in my heart (and my music library). A little more intense than the rest of the record, but in a fun way.

The final verdict

Spotify’s new music section can be daunting, so if you’re pressed for time and just want some easy-listening, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’re looking to step outside of your indie comfort zone, give Everything Not Saved Will be Lost, Part 1 by Foals a listen.

It doesn’t sound like the same song repeated for 40 minutes, which can get a little exhausting as the sound changes with every song. Fans of the band will surely enjoy it and look forward to Part 2 later this year, but those new to the band may find it harder to get into if they’re looking for a gentler indie-rock sound to go with their Saturday morning coffee, like me.

But don’t take my word for it…

Reviews from around the web

NME: ★★★★★ — Tom Connick for NME called the album Foals’ “best album to date,” giving it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars (Source).

Exclaim: 7/10 — Anna Alger for Exclaim! speaks highly of the album’s lyrics and the band’s ability to “juxtapos[e] fearful subject matter with undeniably danceable music” (Source).

Join the conversation

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and like I said, I’m no expert. Tell me what you think of the album or call me on something I got wrong in the comments below!

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