Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Foster The People, Supermodel

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Album cover for Supermodel.
Album cover for Supermodel.

Foster the People's sun-kissed, hook-filled debut made much more sense when front man Mark Foster outed himself as a former ad jingle writer.

Songs like Houdini and Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) were so drenched in synth riffs and hipster-pop choruses they became instantly likeable earworm candy.

So it's a surprise to see the trio rebel against type for a second album that contains little of what made 2011's Torches such a success.

"Is this the life you've been waiting for?" croons Foster on the introspective acoustics of Ask Yourself, a line typical of an album that chooses insular reinvention over pass-me-a-Corona-with-lime fun.

Yes, Coming of Age and Pseudologia Fantastica are cut from a cloth similar to Torches, but mostly Supermodel tries just a little too hard to be different.

The Paul Simon-esque opener Are you What You Want To Be? comes off like a Vampire Weekend pastiche with its faux reggae vibe, while Nevermind and The Truth reek of forced bad MGMT-style psychedelia and don't really work, and the ballads Goats in Trees and Fire Escape are simple, folky and mostly forgettable fare.

Worst of all is A Beginner's Guide to Destroying the Moon which gives a classic Clams Casino hip-hop instrumental a horrendous rock makeover.

Foster the People's ambition is admirable, but this is an album made to please the band - not their fans.

Verdict: Californians get loose on lacklustre follow-up
Click here to buy Supermodel by Foster The People.

- TimeOut

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