Torches

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 23, 2011
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Dec 19, 2011
    60
    Burning with a hot track intensity somewhere in between early evening rave-up and late-night club afterglow, Torches is a beacon of melodic dance-pop love.
  2. Jul 12, 2011
    62
    Particularly hoisted onto such dense production, the hooks are so big, blunt, and persistent that even my four-year-old niece counts Foster the People as her favorite band. But on Torches that plays as a crutch as well as a strength.
  3. Q Magazine
    Aug 8, 2011
    80
    LA-based trio unveil their schizo-pop blend. [Aug. 2011, p. 119]
  4. Mojo
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    Scratch beneath the glossy surface of Torches and beneath the gurgles, stutters and hands-aloft choruses lies an album with a disappointing lack of substance. [Aug. 2011, p. 94]
  5. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    It's derivative, sure, but the hook-happy results pack more decadent kicks than a night out in John Travolta's Seventies pants.
  6. Jun 28, 2011
    60
    The first half of Torches is its collective zenith, and although things pick up towards the end of the album by the strategically placed 'Pumped Up Kicks', you can't shake the feeling that Foster has simply stretched the party vibe over as many songs as he can before the momentum runs out.
  7. 70
    There's no escaping it: Foster The People are a great pop band, and Torches pop production accentuates every handclap and harmony for maximum effect.
  8. Under The Radar
    Jun 8, 2011
    60
    When the same "music is the message" trick is attempted in the newer material, the law of diminishing returns quickly kicks into place. [May 2011, p.78]
  9. Jun 27, 2011
    80
    Foster The People make infectiously good music, don't stick to a formula and make you yearn to lie on your back in the middle of a field, feeling the hot sun streaming down on your face.
  10. Jun 24, 2011
    40
    For the most part, Torches sounds like a faux-edgy take on the likes of Maroon 5 – not the reconfiguring of soft rock the likes of Gayngs and Destroyer have attempted, but easy-listening, in-one-ear-out-the-other drivetime pop, with synth sounds du jour instead of palm-muted guitars.
  11. 75
    On their first CD, Torches, the trio reach for those same plateaus but can't stretch that far, despite closing strong with the rugged neck-snapper "Warrant."
  12. Jun 14, 2011
    60
    His songs are structured around one big, hummable hook and not much else. The L.A. band has a knack for that, but we can't help wondering if they have anything more sophisticated in store. We'd rather have the next MGMT than the next Maroon 5.
  13. Jun 27, 2011
    70
    While that constant jollity could become irritating, it manages instead to be endearing.
  14. Jun 22, 2011
    80
    Time will tell, but this opening salvo will certainly leave you pumped up for further Foster kicks.
  15. 80
    Along with intense mental states, the band's songwriter, Mark Foster, savors the construction details of his perky pop songs: the clockwork counterpoint of terse, staccato motifs played with carefully selected and individually skewed tones. Behind the neat surfaces, oddities thrive.
  16. Sep 12, 2011
    89
    While hit single and opener "Helena Beat" suggests that Foster the People has mastered the sunny-but-bitter concoction, "Waste" and "I Would Do Anything for You" provide a sweet balance on the palate.
  17. May 24, 2011
    60
    For better or for worse, Torches is a product of the here and now, and who can be mad at Foster the People for seizing it for all its worth? Get it while it lasts, boys.
  18. May 23, 2011
    63
    Much of Torches doesn't aim much higher than being a fizzy soundtrack for windows-down elbow tans. Which is fine, but for all his ease at getting attention, hopefully Foster will want to command it more thoroughly.
  19. Regardless, even the harshest of words are unlikely to stop this album from being a success. And that, well, is kind of depressing.
  20. The way I see Torches, it's not so much music as a vehicle to convey their message, but more so just fun music for the sake of fun music, and well, you have to have lyrics, don't you?
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Apr 7, 2012
    10
    when i heard "pumped up kicks" i liked the song yet when it hit mainstream status the song got really annoying and i felt Foster The Peoplewhen i heard "pumped up kicks" i liked the song yet when it hit mainstream status the song got really annoying and i felt Foster The People was a one hit wonder band, and.... I WAS WRONG! the album, is fantastic! and its kind of a shame that some of the BEST songs aren't even on the ORIGINAL album. many people heard pumped up kicks and thought that was the best song, NO! it is not, its their most popular but best? not even close. i loved the album, the songs are catchy, and really well done. its safe too say most of these songs are about love. KEY TRACKS: "Call it what you want", "Waste", "Helena Beat", "Don't Stop", "Houdini", "i would do anything for you" EXTRA KEY TRACKS (NOT ON ORIGINAL ALBUM): "Love", "Broken Jaw" NOTE!!! Broken Jaw in MY OPINION is THEIR best song, seriously listen to this one.... Full Review »
  2. Jun 21, 2011
    5
    I've never seen so many people get defensive over an album. People are getting nasty, critiquing reviews instead of the album itself. TheI've never seen so many people get defensive over an album. People are getting nasty, critiquing reviews instead of the album itself. The album is nothing special. It's got catchiness in spades but it's lacking lyrically and in originality. Foster The People seem so caught up in "capturing the sound of the times" that they forget to be their own band. Do yourself a favor and download "Pumped Up Kicks," "Houdini," and "Warrant." These are the three strongest songs on the album. And, if you're in the mood for a New Radicals rip-off, download "I Would Do Anything For You." I was really looking forward to this album after hearing "Pumped Up Kicks" last year, but this is one of the biggest disappointments of 2011. Full Review »
  3. Nov 2, 2013
    6
    [6.4] It's definitely refreshing pop/electronic, but it isn't quite smart enough to make Foster the People stand out. It never makes a point,[6.4] It's definitely refreshing pop/electronic, but it isn't quite smart enough to make Foster the People stand out. It never makes a point, or addresses a theme, or discuss any important issue, it seems like Foster the People wants to make enjoyable music, but falls into the common trap of not wanting to add depth to their music. This album is very well put together, and sounds pretty good, but it's quite obvious they don't care enough to make a meaningful album. Full Review »