Foals: Life Is Yours album review – a joyous breath of fresh air | Music | Entertainment

On their seventh studio album, the Oxford alt-rockers – now a three-piece – embrace the disco floor with the unrestrained glee of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever.

The rhythms are punchy, the hooks catchy, the feel euphoric.

Greek-born singer-guitarist Yannis Philippakis says: “We wanted to refocus and do something that shared a DNA throughout the songs – a physicality, a danceability, and with energy and joyousness.”

Which many would see as the correct response to two long years of Covid misery. Only Foals and horses for courses, perhaps.

As Yannis sings on Wake Me Up: “I’m burning all my bridges, I’m pulling up the ropes, deleting all the codes…”

The result is more 1980s nightclub floor-filler than arena thriller as they make music designed to be “a forcefield against the darkness”.

But you wonder what fans of their geekier, more experimental beginnings will make of the unashamedly retro-dance feel of songs like 2001 with its insistent beat, Chic-like vocals, and disco-tinged guitar.

Many of these 11 tracks were mixed by multiple-Grammy winner Manny Marroquin, best known for his work with Rihanna and Kanye.

With its scratchy synth-intro, Jack Bevan’s syncopated drums and driving groove, 2am has more than a trace of Talking Heads, and Flutter, with its heavenly vocals, is powered by a repetitive prowling riff but the overall feel is mainstream.

Call it hi-energy or nu-disco if you like but, at its core, this is Foals poppier than they have ever been.

They’ve flushed nihilism down the toilet of history, elbowed gloom, and put all their chips on escapism. It’s a gamble of course but the winnings could be immense.

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