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Total Life Forever (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

After Foals scrapped the mix of their debut, Antidotes, by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, it was clear that they were a band that was interested in creating their own sound. That sentiment may be why their follow-up, Total Life Forever, sounds more like a reaction to their first record than a continuation of it. Many of the elements that drove Foals into the spotlight in the first place are definitely still in place. There’s plenty of cascading, Minus the Bear-style guitar work and funky Talking Heads influence in their math-pop-meets-the-dancefloor rhythms. What’s missing is the edge. Total Life Forever is considerably more subdued than its predecessor, lacking much of the uptempo thump found on Antidotes. In its place is a mellower, more spacious sound. While this new sound is still danceable, it’s far more refined than the angular post-punk riffing that fans might be expecting. Right from the beginning, the album-opening, “Blue Blood” makes it clear that Foals are taking a different, more patient approach to songwriting, letting the song build and build on itself as it methodically works itself into a frenzy before leaving the way it came in. Because of the changes here, fans of the early, pre-Antidotes singles may find Total Life Forever to be too restrained, lacking the youthful vigor of their debut. Where some see restraint, others may very well see refinement, and those who appreciated Antidotes' more spacy passages will find that Foals' reinvention of their sound is a calculated risk that definitely pays off.

Customer Reviews


The rihanna comment above is one of the dumbest things ive read in a long time. The genres are utterly and totally different, foals being the cornerstone of the experimental pop crossover, something rihanna is not. This album is the natural progression from the oxford fivesomes wonderful 'Antidotes' album, featuring the inclusion of electronics and samples (in the right places). If the 'antidotes' album made me want to party, this one makes me want to sit and smilee, reflecting how good that party was. Play the album from start to finish, and youre embarking on a cerebral and epic emotional journey. Many would say this album is not as strong as antidotes. I would- but in a different way. Look out for 'Spanish Sahara' belting out at festivals this summer- and myself right there in the middle of it.


Equally as good as (if not better than) their first album, 'Antidotes'. Foals have managed to maintain their quirky, unique style whilst also adding a few slower, more mellow songs to the album, such as 'Spanish Sahara'. I think it's great that they are showing this new side to Foals, and it proves that they aren't just a one trick pony. I also love the deluxe additions, personal favourites being 'Miami' (Glastonbury Acoustic Version), and 'Spanish Sahara' (6 Music Glastonbury Session). Very good album, and I can't wait to see what they do next!

this is the real stuff

There aren't many bands out there as good as the Foals. This album is a masterpief, beautifully crafted with amazing riffs. 'Alabaster' and 'Spanish Sahara' are MUST buys. Definitely one of the best albums of 2010


Formed: 2005 in Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in Oxford, England, by longtime friends Yannis Philippakis (guitar) and Jack Bevan (drums), along with Andrew Mears on vocals, guitarist Jimmy Smith, and bassist Walter Gervers, Foals -- whose name is a play on the etymology of Philippakis' name -- began as a way to protest against the proggier sounds that were both popular in Oxford and in Philippakis and Bevan's former band, the Edmund Fitzgerald. After releasing the single "Try This on Your Piano" in 2006, Mears left Foals in order to more...
Full bio
Total Life Forever (Deluxe Version), Foals
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