Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1
Once in a while we all come across a frustrating album that you just never “get”, no matter how many times you listen to it and try to force yourself into liking it through some sort of musical Stockholm syndrome. The new one from Foals definitely ticks that box for me. Despite being more of a single orientated band overall, they still managed to pull off an admirable streak of good albums, a streak that sadly is now broken with this latest release. Everything Not Saved just feels like a record composed entirely of filler tracks. There’s nothing all that memorable or notable to be found here, no comparable ‘Spanish Sahara’ or ‘My Number’ or ‘Mountain At My Gates’. It just chugs along as landfill indie background noise, which even then has been done better by plenty of other bands in recent years.
At a push I’d pick out ‘White Onions’ and ‘On The Luna’ as the record’s best offerings. The former pairs some nice bright melodies with fuzzy blues riffs, while the latter veers more into synth orientated territory and offers up the album’s only good hooks. The most frustrating part is that there are interesting elements scattered all throughout the album; in little melodic flourishes, subtle Eastern vibes, interesting percussive patterns, and some dreamy synths in the last two tracks; the problem is that they never come together to make good songs. Having a vibrant colour palette doesn’t mean you can paint a masterpiece, having stunning cinematography doesn’t necessarily mean you can tell an interesting story or portray compelling characters. None of the good ideas found in the album ever seem to get paired with good songwriting the likes of which I know the band is capable of. Here’s hoping they’re saving their best material for part two, as I haven’t found anything on part one that’s really worth revisiting.