Published on November 27, 2013 | by Nina Hoogstraate

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Album review: Foals’ Holy Fire

Artwork for Foals’ 2013 album Holy Fire [press.wbr.com/foals]

★★★★

As Foals’ third album came out February 2013, I’ve seen which tracks on the  album Holy Fire have become most popular.

Inhaler and My Number were bound to be huge from the get-go.

Both are epic festival tracks: Inhaler gives you the urge to grab anyone and dive into a mosh pit, while My Number has the poppy riffs and catchy lyrics.

Prelude appears to be an unruffled and pleasant introduction to the ears at the start.

Halfway through the guitar and drums get heavier, and leads nicely into the awesomeness that is Inhaler.

The sequence of the tracks works well.

There is a good balance between upbeat and slightly slower tempos, so you don’t feel like you’re sat on the edge of your chair all the time.

Yannis’ high-pitched voice is unique and marks huge part of the bands’ sound, and sounds slightly different, yet (obviously) recognisable on every track.

He seems to be able to convey emotion without having to physically see him singing.

Compared to Antidotes back in 2007, and Total Life Forever in 2010, Foals have noticeably changed their tone in music and evolved.

When Cassius came out we were in the middle of an ‘Indie rock’ awakening, along with bands like Good Shoes and The Maccabees – the difference between most bands and this one, is that Foals slipped right in and haven’t left since.

They have managed to keep their guitar sound fairly similar over the last 6 years; agile, picky guitar riffs are still prominent in almost every track on Holy Fire.

The album touches upon different subject matters, with light-hearted lyrics on My Number, and more intense, honest lyrics on Out Of The Woods: “It’s times like these when I’m on my way back out of the woods/I’ve never felt better than when I’m on my way out for good.”

Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but the phrase often associated with ‘out of the woods’ is to linger on having difficulties within a situation although it has improved – or even being clean and sober.

With chart artists such as Robin Thicke (I know they aren’t comparable, but I’m trying to make a point) it’s refreshing to have a band that has been consistently successful and still making honest, good music.

Stepson and Moon are the perfect ‘walking home late at night’ songs, as well as bringing a peaceful close to the album.

Moon’s atmospheric elements create a nice melancholic, reflective state of mind. Personally, I’ve always been a massive Foals fan, and this album definitely does their musical talent justice (yet again).

Lovely mix of upbeat and slower tracks, and sincerely refined; Holy Fire is, overall, a brilliantly executed album.

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