Album Review – ‘What Went Down’ by Foals

In September 2015 Foals released their fourth album, What Went Down.

The band kick off the record in fantastic fashion, the title track a belter that steps right off from their previous album Inhaler, released in 2013. Reportedly this album was first recorded in a fit of creativity just one month after their performance at ‘Bestival’ in 2014, and with this Foals could easily have been in danger of not moving forward musically with this album, and though they largely avoided this, the sound is unmistakably Foals-like especially with the use of synth sounds that are strongly reminiscent of Inhaler.

There is a feeling of a wider spectrum of genres on this album. Songs such as ‘Albatross’ and ‘London Thunder’ are more pop-orientated than previously whilst ‘What Went Down’ sees an increase in the use of heavier guitars. For me, ‘London Thunder’ is the standout track of the album. The stripped back piano and organic guitar give a haunting beauty to the vocals that adds great suspense to the slow build up of the song.

Overall the album is a strong follow up to the previous album, and there’s a greater range and subtlety to this piece of work. Inhaler  catapulted them to so much success, and it was always going to be a hard act to follow. I can’t help but feel that whilst this album is good as a whole, and will no doubt please greatly existing fans, it lacks enough songs of single quality to move the band on commercially. They are preaching well to those already converted, but new converts may be thin on the ground.

This article was written by Sam Brunt.

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