• Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Mar 18, 2014
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Uncut
    Mar 12, 2014
    80
    The sound they've fashioned is glossy and supersaturated while still exhibiting the subversive impulse that yielded the supremely catchy but subtly sinister smash "Pumped Up Kicks." [Apr 2014, p.74]
  2. Mar 17, 2014
    79
    With Supermodel, his goal is not to make you like him, but rather to give you a sense of what it's like to be him. He pulls it off, and he throws in plenty of hooks along the way.
  3. Mar 18, 2014
    75
    Unlike Torches, Supermodel doesn’t have instant stickability. Instead, it is a slow grower. It’s worth it though, so be patient.
  4. Mar 27, 2014
    70
    Hook-laced in all the right places, melodic, rhythmic, intelligent, addictive and slightly quirky: they don’t skimp on any of the ingredients here.
  5. Mar 25, 2014
    70
    While nothing on the album quite reaches those lofty heights [of Pumped Up Kicks], Supermodel far outshines Torches as a whole.
  6. 70
    It’s a collection of snapshots of a band stretching towards a brilliantly kaleidoscopic, eclectic new sound--and almost reaching it.
  7. Mar 21, 2014
    70
    Forward isn’t always better. But for Foster the People, on Supermodel, it was the right direction.
  8. Mar 20, 2014
    70
    [An] album, which is comfortingly straightforward, despite Mr. Foster’s jagged sentiments.
  9. Mar 18, 2014
    70
    Supermodel unfurls with bright, sunny melodies that bloom on songs that pick up where its Grammy-nominated debut, “Torches,” left off.
  10. Mar 17, 2014
    70
    If Torches scratched the surface of twenty-something angst, then Supermodel takes that exploration a few steps deeper, revealing a more introspective, enigmatic, world-weary tone.
  11. Mar 12, 2014
    67
    Working on an epic, operatic canvas, Foster and his bandmates hide the spinach of existential angst into sweetly binge-worthy dance pop.
  12. Mar 20, 2014
    62
    The band experiments with world music (“Are You What You Want To Be?”) and psychedelia (“Pseudologia Fantastic,” “A Beginner’s Guide To Destroying The Moon”) but falls short.
  13. Mar 24, 2014
    60
    Foster may not be the subtlest lyricist ever to decry the excesses of western society, but his songwriting has filled out and, on the evidence of several tracks here, including Best Friend, he still knows how to craft a solid hook.
  14. Mar 18, 2014
    60
    The crux is the album’s smothering, reverb-heavy, more-is-more production style, which smooths over some of the off-kilter quirks that made Torches’ sprawl so alluring.
  15. The band’s songs are as dense to listen to as they are to contemplate.
  16. Q Magazine
    Mar 14, 2014
    60
    The occasionally super Supermodel is an album of transition rather than a definitive statement. [Apr 2014, p.113]
  17. Mar 12, 2014
    60
    Although Supermodel is derivative, it’s more often inventively imitative, rather than devolving into out-and-out mimicry.
  18. Mar 14, 2014
    50
    Supermodel's failing is that it's copying one of the foundational records of this trend, which is, you guessed it, Torches. It's hard to think outside a box you built yourself.
  19. Mojo
    Apr 23, 2014
    40
    Much of Supermodel feels alienatingly dense. [May 2014, p.86]
  20. Mar 24, 2014
    40
    This is an album that suffers from having altogether too much surface and not nearly enough substance.
  21. Mar 20, 2014
    40
    Supermodel, sees them attempt to fuse the two using Nile Rodgersesque guitar licks, plus nods to Afrobeat and psych, in an unwieldy piece of soldering. At times, they pull it off.... Unfortunately their fusion doesn't always stick.
  22. Mar 18, 2014
    40
    The default mode here is a soupy power mumble: Passion Pit without the passion, Imagine Dragons without imagination.
  23. Mar 17, 2014
    40
    Had Supermodel ended with this potent one-two punch, one might be inclined to view the rest more charitably. Sadly, it finishes with two bits of acoustic muzak ("Fire Escape" and "Goats in Trees") and a bid to beat Imagine Dragons at its own game with the kind of frantic Meatloaf-goes-electronica favored in YA-movie soundtracks.
  24. 33
    Equally appropriately, with increased attention comes increased expectations and increased scrutiny, neither of which are met by this sophomore release.
  25. 33
    A couple of pseudo-anthems will likely nurse them through a handful of unearned headline gigs--but in all honesty, the world has no need for pop music this faceless, listless or sterile.
  26. 30
    The album is lacklustre, and suffers for a lack of purpose and intent.
  27. Alternative Press
    Mar 12, 2014
    20
    Umpteen attempts at serious lyrics topple this album right off the runway. [Apr 2014, p.91]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 169 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 169
  1. Mar 18, 2014
    10
    This album is incredible and so much more mature than "Torches." That's not to say that I don't like the previous album, because I did butThis album is incredible and so much more mature than "Torches." That's not to say that I don't like the previous album, because I did but this album is just really flawless even in it's flaws, which makes it that much more beautiful. Here's my track by track rating:

    Are You What You Want to Be? 9/10
    - This is a pretty cool opener where you can hear the influences of Morocco and Foster's world journey. The only complaint is I feel that it's a tad bit too long to really enjoy.

    Ask Yourself 10/10
    - This song sounds like a mash up between psychedelic rock and 90's alternative, which you would never think could work but this song is really incredible.

    Coming of Age 7/10
    - As much as I enjoy this 80's influenced and super-synthetic driven song, I find that it can get on my nerves sometimes when it comes to chorus. I can't really explain it, but this song has, in my opinion, the lowest replay value.

    Nevermind 9/10
    - This is a really cool song with an amazing structure and the chorus is very catchy. It's very dark sounding and spacey. It's very similar at times, especially the verses, to the sounds off of Portugal. The Man's "Evil Friends."

    Pseudologia Fantastica 10/10
    - This was my favorite song in my entire music library for the past month or so and rightfully so. It feels like Foster the People, MGMT, Portugal. The Man, and a few bands from the 80's came together and this was the product of an incredible mixture. The psychedelic sounds driving the verses and choruses are incredible and that really cool and left-field piano bridge gets me every time.

    The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones 7/10
    - It's hard to really give this a rating and by itself this is a 10/10 but its placement is awkward in the album and I really wish they made it one continuous mix between Pseudologia Fantastica, This, and Best Friend.

    Best Friend 10/10
    - If this isn't the summer jam for 2014 then I don't know what is. Best song of 2014 so far hands down.

    A Beginner's Guide to Destroying the Moon 10/10
    - A really deep and different song for FTP, but I feel that it works beautifully on this album, which is very conceptually drive on the ideas of capitalism and affluence in celebrities. This song could really speak to our society and the music itself is really incredible. The piano chorus/bridge parts are pretty awesome.

    Goats in Trees 9/10
    - This song is a very interesting one and you have to hand it to Foster for delving into different vocal ranges. This slow tune really makes you feel introspective.

    The Truth 10/10
    - It's all in the title for this one. It sounds like a really interesting 80's song for the verses and then the chorus blasts in and I feel like I'm on some journey back in time.

    Fire Escape 10/10
    - If I could give this an 11/10 I would, but that wouldn't be too fair for the other songs and my rating system. Very simple yet beautiful acoustic guitar drives this song musically and the vocal mixing and recording choices are very different than the rest of the album, but it really fits to end the regular version of this album with incredibly deep lyrics.

    Tabloid Super Junkie 10/10
    - If you didn't pre-order this album than you are really missing out on a pretty cool track. Very synthy and sounds like the good music from the 80's

    Altogether, this album averages out to a 9.25, but with a weighting system based off of track lengths, my modified score for this album is a 9.6 which rounds to a 10.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2014
    10
    It saddens me that modern music criticism has descended to complaining about an album because it doesn't have a "hit" song on it. I'd ratherIt saddens me that modern music criticism has descended to complaining about an album because it doesn't have a "hit" song on it. I'd rather have an album's worth of very good songs than one that has one or two great ones surrounded by mediocrity. This is one of the more consistently engaging, challenging and downright breathtaking albums to come along in some time. Torches was awesome, but this is in a different league entirely.

    Foster's rejection of moral relativism, and their search for ultimate truth and meaning in an American culture that devalues the very idea of absolutes, is frankly inspiring. I love it when artists I admire decide that their message is even more important than their popularity. I have no doubt this album will be deeply divisive, even for people who loved Torches, but I really don't think the band cares. It's not for everyone, and that's fine. But those that listen to it and understand it will find themselves challenged to be and do better. In that way, Supermodel makes up for a million frivolous pop songs.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 28, 2014
    10
    Underestimated by critics, this album (at its own sake) turns out to be a thousand times more cohesive, complex and original than itsUnderestimated by critics, this album (at its own sake) turns out to be a thousand times more cohesive, complex and original than its predecessor Torches - and that is a lot to say. Full Review »