Album Review Foals - Life Is Yours

A celebration of their status as UK indie rock’s elder statesmen.

Foals - Life Is Yours

This seventh full-length from Foals might have represented a journey into choppy waters for the Oxford outfit. They never quite got to put the cap on their hugely ambitious ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ era, with the pandemic precluding much of the planned touring for its second part, which was a stormy, brooding counterpoint to the festival-ready first. Plus, with the departure of keyboardist Edwin Congreave, which had long looked inevitable due to his climate concerns, it means they’re now down 40% of their original lineup. Rather than lament the losses, though, or introspectively dwell on what the future might yet hold, Yannis Philippakis, Jimmy Smith and Jack Bevan have instead served up a celebration of their status, increasingly, as UK indie rock’s elder statesmen. ‘Life Is Yours’ is their poppiest album to date, leaning in to their more melodic side in wholesale fashion. This is manifested in some of the prettiest guitar lines they’ve yet written, in Yannis exploring new vocal avenues (near-falsetto on the airy ‘Flutter’), flirtations with ‘80s synthpop (‘Under the Radar’) and a centring of groove in a manner that is entirely new for them. ‘Life Is Yours’ is the sound of the band less emerging blinking into the post-pandemic light than bounding back into the saddle.

 

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Bunkering down from the chaos to make an album full of light, ‘Life Is Yours’ was written as a rousing statement of hope. Back with thousands of fans once more, Foals are ready to reap its rewards.