REVIEW: Foals – Total Life Forever

I love Foals, their first album Antidotes is one of my personal favourites from the last decade. The challenge I think they faced with this album was to brace some maturity and not become too repetitive in the music, a gauntlet they set themselves and have definitely achieved. For those who liked their debut, you may not enjoy Total Life Forever as much because of the big embrace of emotion in Yannis’ lyrics which seems to have had the consequential stepping away from their steeped in math-rock attitude. It’s not totally devoid of the sound of the last record though, just sounds as if they are wishing to branch away from it. Much like how The Horrors dropped the faux-Goth punk sound for their second album, Foals have become much more Pop-orientated.

First single, “Spanish Sahara” was a bit disappointing for me. I just didn’t get into it as much as the other songs that form the album and thought that it could have performed a killing blow if the rest of the record followed suit. It was only “This Orient” the second release from the album that was needed to convince me otherwise. It’s upbeat, and a little calculated, but it pans out lovingly, as if pandering to a recent beau. I adore it. Other highlights include the song “After Glow” which sounds like it’s come straight from the Gran Turismo soundtrack, (a racing game for those that don’t know) if that analogy makes sense? It is definitely a song that constructs itself as something to virtually drive/race along to.

My favourite song though, has to be the title track, “Total Life Forever”, the brilliance of it’s lovely high-key intro and the chanting chorus that will definitely rile the crowds up at upcoming gigs. I fell in love with song as soon as it begins, it’s lyrics in which leas singer Yannis debates the idea of showing his “true colours” and the life-affirming statement that “TOTAL LIFE FOREVER” actually is. It is a loving, brilliant, happy and esteemed way of looking at life, I feel I’m being vague, but the line makes me feel a nice level of positivity that was completely absent from the calculated, cold material that Foals are known for. Conclusively, I feel that Total Life Forever is a fantastic album and I implore you to listen to it, while it may not be to every prior Foals fan taste, it’s a nice and uplifting record, like the dawning of this year, and a new decade, it seems to me to be the summing up of a new, fresh start.

Not on the album, but listen to this highly hilarious and ever-so-alt cover from a couple of years ago.
Foals – Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani Cover)



  1. Robin Buckley wrote:

    Overall, I think it’s worth a listen. I loved the first, but this has its ups and downs. The best parts, I find, are the fast ones, like Total Life Forever, Blue Blood and This Orient. Their minimalist influence gets boring when played slowly :)

  2. Lorcan Toner wrote:

    Like yourself, Antidotes is one of my favourite albums of the last decade. However even though i fell in love with Foals for their stuttering, eclectic new disco sound. For me ‘Spanish Sahara’ is arguably the best song on the album, also i feel it marks a turning point in the album and from here on out its almost faultless. Right up to the last track ‘What Remains’ which might be my second favourite. They have a great ability to shape emotions as a band and in my opinion this shines most in the slower songs. If you want the fast pase ‘Antidotes’ stuff well……. listen to Antidotes.

    • Nathan wrote:

      I’m not saying TLF is bad man, I love the album, just so put off by Spanish Sahara, I kind of understand why its good but just don’t enjoy it as much as the faster songs like TLF and This Orient. It’s a great progression on from antidotes and i’d like them to keep at this progression.

  3. douchechill wrote:

    ahaha, hollaback grl, nice