Torches

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 23, 2011
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 151
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  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 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, itswhen 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.... Expand
  2. 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, 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[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. Expand
  3. Nov 18, 2011
    8
    A promising start, look forward to more from them, particularly as their fame dies down from the incredibly overplayed Pumped Up Kicks (which I love btw, but the radio is really good at killing good songs...)
  4. Jun 9, 2011
    8
    I'm surprised at the bad reviews. This is a pretty solid debut that is catchy as hell and fun to listen to. I didn't even pay attention to the lyrics but I sure got caught up in the music.
  5. Feb 29, 2012
    10
    Fantasic album. I loved every minute of it. I must have listened to it 100 times, in fact I'm listening to it right now. This is difinately one of the best albums of the year. 10 out of 10.
  6. Jun 6, 2011
    10
    that onethirtybpm review is awful. its all empty posturing because this album isn't 'tasteful' or legit or real enough because foster used to work for the man writing jingles.

    the truth is this album is solid, the whole album, no filler, and i keep hearing complaints about no substance, who the f*ck listens to pop for lyrical substance? this album has hooks for days, its a real
    that onethirtybpm review is awful. its all empty posturing because this album isn't 'tasteful' or legit or real enough because foster used to work for the man writing jingles.

    the truth is this album is solid, the whole album, no filler, and i keep hearing complaints about no substance, who the f*ck listens to pop for lyrical substance? this album has hooks for days, its a real mindworm, f#ck the haters
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  7. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Foster The People are modern-day Beach Boys who have captured the sound of sunshine, fun, and the carefree days of summer in just under forty minutes.
  8. Jun 9, 2013
    10
    Fabulous debut album by Foster the People. Contains very catchy songs with well written lyrics, unique (and good) vocals from Foster himself, good tunes and well played instruments from Fink (bass) and Pontius (drums/ percussion). The whole album is a great and unique experience. Was definitely worth the money. Would recommend to anyone who likes good indie/alternative music.
  9. May 21, 2014
    10
    I totally love this album esp, I would do anything for you, waste and miss you and of course, Pumped up kick. Superrrrr Best :D its not too late to listen and my opinion this is their best album ever.
  10. 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. 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 downloadI'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. Expand
  11. Oct 3, 2011
    4
    The debut album by Foster the People is being advertised as â
  12. Aug 27, 2011
    8
    For a first album, it's really good ! '' Torches '' offers catchy tunes that many people will fall in love with. The song that stands out the most is '' Pumped Up Kicks '', the chorus is just amazing. It's rare that all of the songs (in a single album) can be this much fun to listen to and can bring you a happy feeling. Most of today's music sucks. It's full of auto tune and the lyrics areFor a first album, it's really good ! '' Torches '' offers catchy tunes that many people will fall in love with. The song that stands out the most is '' Pumped Up Kicks '', the chorus is just amazing. It's rare that all of the songs (in a single album) can be this much fun to listen to and can bring you a happy feeling. Most of today's music sucks. It's full of auto tune and the lyrics are always about the same thing (sex, drugs, party, getting drunk, rehab), yes I'm talking about you MTV. But '' Foster the People '' brings us something else. That's what I like about them, because their unique and different from other bands. Some of the songs sounds similar, and the lyrics are not always developed, but it's enjoyable. It's the kind of music that you will hear in some commercials, you like, and then you're mad because you can't find it on the Internet. Worth buying this album ! Expand
  13. May 7, 2013
    10
    AMAZING. Favorite bands to have emerged in the past few years.
    Stellar.
    I went to their concert and cried.
    And Mark Foster jumped in the crowd and I groped him.
    It was beautiful.
  14. Jun 3, 2011
    8
    Torches is a fantastic album, that although many of the tracks do not stand up to the songs on the EP, still has fantastic beats, choruses, and sound. Every tracks sounds good, with the exception of maybe Don't Stop and Warrant (which the critics seem to be a fan of, but I simply can't get into the Charlie Brown piano that clashes harshly with the electro beats and the subpar chorus) andTorches is a fantastic album, that although many of the tracks do not stand up to the songs on the EP, still has fantastic beats, choruses, and sound. Every tracks sounds good, with the exception of maybe Don't Stop and Warrant (which the critics seem to be a fan of, but I simply can't get into the Charlie Brown piano that clashes harshly with the electro beats and the subpar chorus) and even those sound at least decent. The album does have an issue with the lyrics, they frankly don't get any better than Pumped Up Kicks which is about a school shooting, but the sound is always at least pleasant.

    Songs like Miss You, Helena Beat, and Life on the Nickel easily hold their own, and reach the same level as Pumped Up Kicks.

    And yes, we get it, they sound like MGMT and Passion Pit, but those are both amazing bands, so why is that a bad thing? Every band sounds like another band honestly, and most of Foster the People's tracks are honestly too danceable to be compared to every MGMT song besides the singles off of Oracular Spectacular.

    Foster the People also seems to lack a little substance, most because of the atrocious lyrics, but often because songs seem to blur together, especially in the middle of the album when it seems to establish an electric blur, each song sounding quite similar by then.

    But over all Foster the People have a great sound, fantastic choruses, and most importantly, good music.
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  15. Jun 16, 2011
    10
    Although sometimes referred to as "MGMT ripoffs" by friends of mine. I found this album to be amazing. Sure, Foster the People has a similar sound to MGMT however they are faster and a bit catchier than much of MGMT. With a combination of distinct vocals and dance-oriented indie rock Foster the People's debut album brings much to the table. From hit singles "Pumped Up Kicks" and "HelenaAlthough sometimes referred to as "MGMT ripoffs" by friends of mine. I found this album to be amazing. Sure, Foster the People has a similar sound to MGMT however they are faster and a bit catchier than much of MGMT. With a combination of distinct vocals and dance-oriented indie rock Foster the People's debut album brings much to the table. From hit singles "Pumped Up Kicks" and "Helena Beat" all the way to the slightly glitch sounding "Miss You", Foster the People brings a distinct and a cohesive album capable of being played and replayed time and time again. I would definitely recommend this album for it's danceable beats and subject matter ranging from love to high school shootings. Expand
  16. Jul 1, 2011
    10
    It's quite simple, this album is just plain fun. To use a movie analogy, it's like a good Will Farrell comedy. It's not meant to be a critical smash or win awards. The album is catchy and puts you in a great mood. Houdini and Helena Beat are both fun.
  17. Jul 5, 2011
    9
    This album makes me smile. I was once honked at by a passing car whilst dancing down the sidewalk to Helena Beat and Houdini. The song Pumped Up Kicks is catchy as hell, Call It What You Want is just a fun song that reminds me of Soul Train for some reason. Don't Stop has fun lyrics, its all just fun! I was very pleased with the full album, after being skeptical of what these guys areThis album makes me smile. I was once honked at by a passing car whilst dancing down the sidewalk to Helena Beat and Houdini. The song Pumped Up Kicks is catchy as hell, Call It What You Want is just a fun song that reminds me of Soul Train for some reason. Don't Stop has fun lyrics, its all just fun! I was very pleased with the full album, after being skeptical of what these guys are capable of upon listening to their EP. Another album that goes perfectly with the summer. Did I mention how fun it is? Expand
  18. Jul 9, 2011
    7
    More hits than misses, but at the end of the day it's disposable pop; it's fun for about a week. Afterwards, expect it to gather virtual dust at the back of your playlist. Some of my favorite tracks were, "Waste," "Helena Beat," "Pumped Up Kicks," and "Life On the Nickel." Check it out.
  19. Jul 30, 2012
    8
    This short, indietronica album is definitely a fantastic wonder. The album is very 21st century pop and rare. There's not much like this out there. The hooks are catchy, production is great and Mark Foster can take his voice to impressive scales. Well, for a guy. Most of the album revolves around the theme of love. And love doesn't get any quirkier than this. And very quirky it is.This short, indietronica album is definitely a fantastic wonder. The album is very 21st century pop and rare. There's not much like this out there. The hooks are catchy, production is great and Mark Foster can take his voice to impressive scales. Well, for a guy. Most of the album revolves around the theme of love. And love doesn't get any quirkier than this. And very quirky it is. Especially the song Life On the Nickel. It combines pulsing beats with indie instrumentation and almost-girly vocals. But, Life On the Nickel feels like nothing more than a producer's showcase and is a weak track in the album. But, the first 5 tracks are truly amazing. The seventh track, Waste, is my personal favorite. As well as Houdini. Waste sounding sort of like a tragic love song and Houdini being a fun, sunny, and cute summer-y track. The album feels sort of messy. But a good kind of messy. Very indie. Incredibly danceable. It's a fun album to just relax and sing-a-long to. Call it a 21st century trashy mess. HIGHLIGHTS: Waste, Houdini, Helena Beat, Pumped Up Kicks. SONGS THAT ARE TO BE SKIPPED: Life On the Nickel. MY METASCORE: 77/100 Expand
  20. Aug 25, 2011
    9
    I thought this album was great. I love the summer hit 'Pumped Up Kicks' and overshadowed songs such as Helena Beat and Don't Stop (Color on the Walls). They are able to create a distinct electronica/ alternative sound that is unique to this album. I am a fan of this band whole-heartedly now and am going to their concert this fall in my town. FAV SONGS; Pumped Up Kicks, Don't StopI thought this album was great. I love the summer hit 'Pumped Up Kicks' and overshadowed songs such as Helena Beat and Don't Stop (Color on the Walls). They are able to create a distinct electronica/ alternative sound that is unique to this album. I am a fan of this band whole-heartedly now and am going to their concert this fall in my town. FAV SONGS; Pumped Up Kicks, Don't Stop (Color on the Walls), Helena Beat, Houdini
    LEAST FAV TRACK: Life on the Nickel
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  21. Aug 27, 2011
    9
    Foster The People brings one of the most exciting music of the last times. If Two Door Cinema Club was a hit on clubs around the world in 2010, Foster The People took this place in late 2011. Foster The People does not have great vocals or a superb instrumental, but yet catches your ears with their simplicity. You can feel the roughness of a first album, the band is young and have much toFoster The People brings one of the most exciting music of the last times. If Two Door Cinema Club was a hit on clubs around the world in 2010, Foster The People took this place in late 2011. Foster The People does not have great vocals or a superb instrumental, but yet catches your ears with their simplicity. You can feel the roughness of a first album, the band is young and have much to evolve but still it can be one of the greatest hits on dance floors all around the globe. Expand
  22. Nov 4, 2012
    8
    Great Album. Starts off strong, and finishes almost stronger than it started. What it lacks in wit or charm, it mostly makes up for with strong melodies, often unique vocals, and it's out-of-the-box approach to sound. It's not flawless, as it sometimes falls flat lyrically - passing off cynicalness and semantic ambiguity as cleverness. Songs that stand out on the album are "Helena Beat",Great Album. Starts off strong, and finishes almost stronger than it started. What it lacks in wit or charm, it mostly makes up for with strong melodies, often unique vocals, and it's out-of-the-box approach to sound. It's not flawless, as it sometimes falls flat lyrically - passing off cynicalness and semantic ambiguity as cleverness. Songs that stand out on the album are "Helena Beat", "Warrant", "Houdini", and obviously their hit - "Pumped Up Kicks". Expand
  23. Dec 10, 2011
    6
    I have no problem with catchy bubble-gum pop arranged by alternative bands as long as it's really, really catchy. I can't say it isn't here. "Torches" isn't impressive, but it's one of the easier albums to listen to of the year.
  24. Apr 28, 2012
    8
    Foster the People make a pretty impressive debut in 2011 with Pumped Up Kicks being one of the best songs of last year and this album proves no different, It's a fun upbeat album with Great songs such as Call it What You Want, Helena Beat and of course Pumped Up Kicks. it's must have album and a great start to a long career for Foster The People
  25. Mar 8, 2012
    7
    Wow, this CD is fresh, interesting, with this indie spirit, is awesome, I love this CD, but some songs, don't be greatest, in my opinion, a good album and that's all.
  26. Mar 28, 2012
    8
    Excellently crafted album. Lyrically clever, catchy and punchy. Highly recommended to those who enjoy alternative pop...if there is such a genre.....
  27. May 30, 2012
    6
    A fun and promising start. Some clever tunes here .. in fact all the singles are outstanding songs. Bit of shame that "Pumped up kicks" overshowed the whole project because tracks like "Call it What you want" and "Helena Beats" are somehow better! Anyway a pleasant album to listen to: It's got that irresitible holiday vibe. It's just shame that the songwriting is not consistent fromA fun and promising start. Some clever tunes here .. in fact all the singles are outstanding songs. Bit of shame that "Pumped up kicks" overshowed the whole project because tracks like "Call it What you want" and "Helena Beats" are somehow better! Anyway a pleasant album to listen to: It's got that irresitible holiday vibe. It's just shame that the songwriting is not consistent from beginning to end but i look forward to hearing more from this band in the future! Expand
  28. May 19, 2013
    5
    Only like four good songs on that thing... most of it disappointed me. I didn't really like the sound nor buildup of most of the album. To say the least this album is not for everyone... but I think I wasted some money.
  29. Feb 25, 2014
    7
    Let's not overrate newcomers that judging by their latest 2014 single's success are well on their way to one-hit wonderland. But let's also not count them out for simply putting out a song Mr. Foster and "the people" never imagined would go multi-Platinum. Torches is an eccentric indie piece of pop that's actually very pleasant, if not modest to the ears every once in a while. It's opener,Let's not overrate newcomers that judging by their latest 2014 single's success are well on their way to one-hit wonderland. But let's also not count them out for simply putting out a song Mr. Foster and "the people" never imagined would go multi-Platinum. Torches is an eccentric indie piece of pop that's actually very pleasant, if not modest to the ears every once in a while. It's opener, "Helena Beat", is an understated pop record that deserved every bit of success "Pumped Up Kicks" gained in 2011. And while the band manages to cater to the hipper folks with the Beach Boys-meets-electronic pop musicianship of "I'd Do Anything For You" and "Miss You" and the all-out hippie warfare of "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)", there's still some guilty pleasure gold to be found in "Houdini", which could make even the handicap tap their feet. It's all welcoming and while Foster the People are currently developing their sound, it's fair to say we should all be patient and ignore commercial music for a moment and just admire what top 40 radio really could be with youngsters like these. Expand
  30. Oct 21, 2013
    8
    I found many artists and groups thanks to FIFA and I think that Foster the People is one of the best. "Call it what you want" is one of my favourite songs. Lyrically this album isn't one of the best but the songs are very catchy. This is a good debut album and I'm looking forward to the next one.
  31. Oct 31, 2013
    7
    I will never understand why pumped up kicks was the only song of this album to attain any sort of popular status. Houdini and call it what you want in particular were brilliant and I felt they were much more well done than pumped up kicks. See for yourself and you may find something awesome
  32. Jul 28, 2014
    9
    Eccentric. Stylish. Much more deeper than many may believe. Complex. Colorful. Aesthetic. Brave. Embracing. Clear. Peculiar. Fashion. Cool. At the end... worth listenable. Lovable.
  33. Oct 23, 2014
    9
    This band is truly amazing. This album is great with songs like Houdini, Don't Stop (Color on the Walls). Pumped up Kicks. This album is fun and great sounding
  34. Apr 4, 2015
    7
    Amiable 'new age indie-rock' offering charm and popular appeal. Indeed a rather distinguished album in that it rolls along gaining more favour after each track idles by at a happy, melodic and sustained pace. Given this album is so 'light' Sounding, a thoroughly enjoyable addition to the palate.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  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. 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]
  3. 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.