Foster the People – Torches: #488 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Foster the People - Torches

So why is Foster the People’s Torches on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

While doing research for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I jotted down with reference to “Pumped Up Kids,” Foster the People’s smash hit from Torches: “’Pumped Up Kicks’ is insanely catchy while not being annoying, which is equal parts rare.”

The same is true for Torches as a whole, really, and overall I find it to be an ideal blend of pop-driven indie rock with lovely dreamy and electronic flourishes.

I’m wildly open to pushback on this further point, but Torches seems to represent a hipster-y, indie rock vibe that was in vogue in the late 2000s and early 2010s. I also associate this with the aesthetic and tone of the great 2009 movie, (500) Days of Summer, starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

“Don’t Stop (Color on the Wall)” doubles down even more on the hipster catchiness factor, with its whistling, electronic effects and acoustic jam feel. It’s important to note too how expertly crafted it is, as is Torches as a whole. The meticulous production pays off in a carefree yet exciting listening experience.

“Helena Beat” features catchy hooks (surprise) and the distinctive vocal style of lead singer Mark Foster. I particularly dig the driving, up-tempo beat in addition to its lively, jangly guitar riffs. Hoozah for yet another great electro indie pop number.

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Foster the People’s Torches

I’ve seen (500) Days of Summer only once to date, but it’s stayed with me in a way that most movies don’t. It’s genuinely funny and yet very grounded in a way the vast majority of “rom coms” aren’t. Its narrative style is really fun, and I really like that the ending… well, just see it if you haven’t.

Personal stuff that has something to do with Foster the People’s Torches

I started thinking about what was going on in my life in the year 2011 – the year Torches was released – and chuckled because it took me a little while to come up with a coherent answer. It’s funny, as you enter a certain phase of adult life, that things often get less eventful overall than during our younger years.

Anyway, the most interesting thing about my version of 2011 was that it was the first full year that I worked out of my home office fulltime. Remote work was a lot less common back then, and it felt something like a miracle that it was even possible.

With my wife working a schedule that included days off during the week, and a dog and cat to also keep me company on the home front, it was pretty ideal.

I’m a digital product manager by trade, and worked during those years for a start up company focused on automotive media, meaning deeply researched car reviews and news written by legit automotive journalists.

Even though I’m very much not a “car guy,” it was interesting work, especially as it related to learning about engaging car shoppers online with a great experience, and other nerdy stuff such as search engine optimization and a/b testing.

Some stats & info about Foster the People – Torches

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, SoCal Bands, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Dance Music
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Torches released? 2011
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #488 out of 1,000

Foster the People’s Torches on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Foster the People’s Torches that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks: you better run, better run, outrun my gun.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.