Foster the People are one of those bands that have a monkey on their back. They have something to prove in trying to create another song as big as Pumped Up Kicks. I feel sorry for them because it’s such a hard job to live up to something that was so massive to start with, and sometimes it can drag a band down, drive them mad trying to recreate what got them here in the first place. Foster The People however, seem able to ride this musical storm unlike many others before them. Part of the reason for this is lead singer Mark Foster encompassing the ‘never say die’ attitude that’s lived with him through the hard times of waiting tables before he got the big break in the music industry, the other part is being able to write a bloody good tune. And it’s with this they release the third single Best Friend from new album Supermodel.
The track kicks in with a funky bass intro, and this rhythm continues throughout to good effect; just like most Foster the People songs, it’s strong on beats and tight on melody. The lyrics have a dark side that works well against the upbeat nature of the music, a trick tried and tested by bands like The Smiths on many occasions. Mark sings about helping his friends through the hard times due to seemingly too much substance abuse, and how this takes its toll on the both of them. Lyrics such as “I only dream in black and white” show the inner turmoil this causes.
For all its strong points however, the track doesn’t seem to have that seamless link between electronic grandeur, and good guitar work of previous songs. It feels a little muddled at times and loses its direction with a cluster of too many ideas going on at once.
Best Friend is an ode to the conflicts of the lifelong buddy rule – you always help out a friend in need. It tries to portray this message in a clever way and to an extent it succeeds, but it just feels like it’s missing that something to make it great.