Foals return with a focused and consistent LP that shows the group with more energy than their previous efforts.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 is the first part of this new project with the second half supposedly coming out later this fall. The singles leading up to this new album showed the group incorporating elements of dance-punk and psychedelic music, which is pretty nice to hear considering their last two records didn’t do it for me. Going into this album I was excited to hear how the group would make these tracks come together and if the new tracks would offer a consistent sound throughout the project that their last few projects lacked. I was a bit worried after hearing the first track but, the group really did it on this one.
The intro track Moonlight shows the group experimenting with electronics to make another reverb drenched track that they’ve done before multiple times and it didn’t do it for me this time either. I can appreciate some of the production as it sets the tone for the rest of the album but to put it bluntly, it’s pretty boring and not stand out in any way. Fortunately, on the following five tracks Foals delivers some of the best material I’ve heard from them in a long time. The vocal harmonies throughout the project are pretty great, mixing well with the instrumentation to give these tracks a much more lively feel to them. On the track Syrups the bass provides a nice lead with wailing guitars scattered throughout the first half but then the song becomes more upbeat and in-your-face. However, here is that one moment where a synth (at least that’s what I think it is) is given this underwater sounding effect that and it doesn’t come out clear or even fit in with the song. The song White Onions shows the group amping up the distortion and delivering an alt-rock banger that fans of the genre will most likely enjoy. In Degrees is the most dance-oriented song on the album and without, question it’s one of most fun songs the group has put out in a while.
I enjoy the production and consistency of this project as it comes together much better than What Went Down and Holy Fire did. It’s catchy, vibrant, and densely packed with a handful of fantastic tracks fans of alternative rock should give a try. The group evolves the overly moody, mellow, and glistening sound that they trapped themselves in for those two records that made them sound a bit unmemorable. Their debut record combined math-rock and dance-punk in order to create a tightly packed record full of incredible performances from all members, for the most part, Part 1 of this double album does the same.
A major problem that the group has made for themselves in the past is when the stretch tracks out to the point where you’ll wanna hit the skip button. The song Cafe D’Athens shows the group adding onto the reverb-soaked material they previously released but, it ends up falling into this category. Tracks like 2 Trees, Alabaster, and Spanish Sahara (I do enjoy this track but It’s way too long) from their second album Total Life Forever are some other examples.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this release and will be looking forward to part two.
The Good: Exits, In Degrees, White Onions, On The Luna, Syrups
The Mediocre: Cafe D’Athens
The Bad: Moonlight