Total Life Forever

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Total Life Forever
A number of people are swimming under water.
Studio album by Foals
Released 10 May 2010 (2010-05-10)[1]
Recorded September 2009[2]
Svenska Grammofon Studios, Gothenburg, Sweden[3]
Genre Indie rock, alternative dance, post-rock[4]
Length 50:21
Label Transgressive
Producer Luke Smith[1]
Foals chronology
Antidotes
(2008)
Total Life Forever
(2010)
Holy Fire
(2013)
Singles from Total Life Forever
  1. "Spanish Sahara"
    Released: 17 April 2010
  2. "This Orient"
    Released: 3 May 2010
  3. "Miami"
    Released: 4 July 2010
  4. "Blue Blood"
    Released: 8 November 2010

Total Life Forever is the second studio album by British indie rock band Foals, released on 10 May 2010 through Transgressive Records.[5] Prior to the album's release, the band described it as sounding "like the dream of an eagle dying".[6] It was produced by Luke Smith,[1] and was recorded at Svenska Grammofon Studion in Gothenburg.[3] Upon its release, the album charted in numerous countries worldwide, including number eight in the UK Albums Chart.

Promotion and release[edit]

Two guitarists are performing a song live on a stage, in front of a mic mounted on a microphone stand.
Foals supporting Blur in Hyde Park, London, 2 July 2009

In January 2009, the band released three semi-instrumental segments of tracks through the band's MySpace profile, giving an insight into the band's recording process.[7] A short three date tour of the United Kingdom took place in April 2009.[8]

During July 2009, the band played an intimate show for Rockfeedback, as a warm up for future festival shows and a chance to debut songs from their second album.[9] On 2 July, the band supported Blur during their reunion show in Hyde Park, London, playing an untitled new song which frontman Yannis Philippakis stated was unfinished.[10] Later the same month, the band appeared at the 2009 T in the Park festival, performing new songs "Total Life Forever" and "Dirty Waves". Both songs had been previously aired during the band's appearance at The Breeders-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May 2009.[11] In September 2009, the band performed at London's Heaven as part of Transgressive Records' fifth anniversary, performing new songs "Spanish Sahara", "Death Surf" and one other untitled track.[12]

The album's title was revealed on 24 February 2010.[13] Zane Lowe premiered the promotional track "Spanish Sahara" on BBC Radio 1, naming the track his "Hottest Record in the World" for 1 March 2010.[14] From 8pm the same day, a remix of the track was made available to download from Foals' official website.[15] The accompanying video was added to Foals' YouTube page on 2 March 2010.[16] A limited number vinyl of "Spanish Sahara" was released on 17 April 2010, to mark the 2010 Record Store Day.[17] In support of the album, the band announced a fourteen date tour of Europe throughout April–May 2010, including dates in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and the United Kingdom.[18][19] These were the band's first live performances of the year.[20]

Following "Spanish Sahara"'s limited release, the album's first official single was announced as "This Orient", released on 3 May 2010.[21][22] The track reached number 97 on the UK Singles Chart.[23] Second single "Miami" was then released on 4 July 2010.[24] It reached #127 on the same chart. Third single "Blue Blood" was released on 8 November 2010.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[25]
Clash (8/10)[26]
Drowned in Sound (7/10)[27]
The Fly 5/5 stars[28]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[29]
The Independent 3/5 stars[30]
NME (8/10)[31]
Pitchfork Media (7.6/10)[32]
Rock Sound (8/10)[33]
Q Magazine[34] 4/5 stars

Total Life Forever was well received; many commented how the band's music has matured from their debut album. Review aggregator Metacritic gave the album a normalised rating of 78 out of 100, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[35]

The Q Magazine's reviewer, though, expressed some doubts. Calling it "the schizophrenic second album", Rupert Howe opined that "while this album carries more instrumental and emotional heft than its predecessor, something remains off-balance".[34]

Besides being shortlisted for the 2010 Mercury Prize,[36] Total Life Forever brought the band several nominations for the 2011 NME awards, including best album, best track ("Spanish Sahara") and best album artwork.[37]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Drowned in Sound UK Albums of the Year 2010 33[38]
Mojo UK Top 50 Albums of 2010 2010 25[39]
NME UK Top 75 Albums of 2010 2010 6[40]
Q UK Top 50 Albums of 2010 2010 16[41]

The writers and editors of the free UK magazine "The Fly" voted for Total Life Forever as the best album of 2010. A readers poll also voted for it as album of the year.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Foals. 

No. Title Length
1. "Blue Blood"   5:17
2. "Miami"   3:42
3. "Total Life Forever"   3:18
4. "Black Gold"   6:26
5. "Spanish Sahara"   6:46
6. "This Orient"   4:06
7. "Fugue"   0:49
8. "After Glow"   6:09
9. "Alabaster"   4:00
10. "2 Trees"   5:11
11. "What Remains"   4:37
Total length:
50:21

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[43] 83
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[44] 72
French Albums Chart[45] 38
German Albums Chart[46] 48
Greek Albums Chart[47] 21
Irish Albums Chart[48] 25
Swiss Albums Chart[49] 62
UK Albums Chart[50] 8
US Heatseekers Albums[51] 35

Personnel[edit]

Foals
  • Yannis Philippakis – vocals, guitar, drums
  • Jack Bevan – drums
  • Jimmy Smith – guitar
  • Walter Gervers – bass, backing vocals
  • Edwin Congreave – keyboard, backing vocals
Additional musicians
  • Caroline Wickberg – additional vocals on "Black Gold" and "Spanish Sahara"
Technical personnel
  • Foals – art direction
  • Big Active – artwork
  • Foals – artwork
  • Tinhead – artwork
  • Ferg Peterkin – engineering, programming
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Steve Gullick – photography
  • Dave Ma – photography
  • Luke Smith – producer
  • Mike Crossey – producer, recording assistant on "Blue Blood"
  • Daniel Rejmer – engineering on "Spanish Sahara"
  • Catherine Marks – engineering, mixing on "Spanish Sahara"
  • Alan Moulder – mixing on "Spanish Sahara"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Foals announce new album title and tracklisting". NME. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  2. ^ "Foals Return". The Fly. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  3. ^ a b Sclafani, Tony. "Foals: Total Life Forever". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ Benson, Nikki (2010-06-23). "Album Review: Foals – "Total Life Forever"". Seattle Showgal. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  5. ^ Simpson, Oli (2010-02-23). "Foals 'announce second album details'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Foals: 'New album will sound like the dream of an eagle dying'". NME. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Foals give away new album downloads". NME. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Foals to preview new album at UK live dates". NME. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  9. ^ "Foals playing warm up show before Blur gig". PRS for Music. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  10. ^ "Blur reveal 'Parklife' inspiration at Hyde Park gig". NME. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  11. ^ "Foals joined by Friendly Fires star at T In The Park". NME. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  12. ^ "Foals play new songs at London Transgressive show". NME. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  13. ^ Gregory, Jason (2010-02-24). "Foals Reveal Second Album Title And Release Date". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  14. ^ "Zane Lowe, 01/03/2010". BBC Radio 1. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  15. ^ Murray, Robin (2010-03-01). "Foals Add Intimate UK Tour Dates". Clash. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  16. ^ "wearefoals's Channel". YouTube. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  17. ^ "The A-Z of Record Store Day 2010". FACT. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  18. ^ Murray, Robin (2010-02-24). "Foals Confirm Second Album Plans". Clash. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  19. ^ Gregory, Jason (2010-03-01). "Foals Announce May UK And Ireland Tour". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  20. ^ Michaels, Sean (2010-02-24). "Foals confirm second album title and release date". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  21. ^ "Foals announce new single and UK and Ireland tour – ticket details". NME. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  22. ^ "Foals Unleash New Video". MTV. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  23. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart for the week ending 15 May 2010". ChartsPlus (Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd) (455): 1. 
  24. ^ "Watch Foals' transgender-featuring 'Miami' video". NME. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  25. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Review: Total Life Forever". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  26. ^ "Clash Magazine review". 
  27. ^ "Drowned in Sound review". 
  28. ^ "The Fly review". 
  29. ^ Costa, Maddy (2010-05-06). "The Guardian review". London. 
  30. ^ Gill, Andy (2010-05-07). "The Independent review". London. 
  31. ^ "NME review". 
  32. ^ "Pitchfork review". 
  33. ^ Ben Patashnik. "Foals - Total Life Forever | Reviews | Rock Sound". Rocksound.tv. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  34. ^ a b Rupert Howe. - Q Magazine, June 2010. New Albums review. Schizophrenic second album from ambitious indie-damce outfit. p. 130
  35. ^ "Total Life Forever reviews at Metacritic.com". Apps.metacritic.com. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  36. ^ "Mercury Prize 2010 Nominations Announced". NME. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  37. ^ "Foals and Arcade Fire lead NME awards nominations". BBC Newsbeat (BBC). January 25, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  38. ^ Adams, Sean (2010-12-02). "Drowned in Sound's albums of the year 2010: 50-11 / In Depth // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  39. ^ Pubblicato da cabal (2010-12-13). "Spotirama: Mojo's Best 50 Albums of 2010". Spotirama.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  40. ^ "NME Top 75 Albums Of 2010". Stereogum. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  41. ^ "Q‘s 50 Best Albums Of 2009". Stereogum. 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  42. ^ "Total Life Forever (Deluxe 2CD Edition)". Foals official website. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  43. ^ "Belgian (Flanders) album positions" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  44. ^ "Belgian (Wallonia) album positions" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  45. ^ "French album positions" (in French). lescharts.com. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  46. ^ "German album positions" (in German). musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  47. ^ "Greek album positions". greekcharts.com. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  48. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 13 May 2010". Chart-Track. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  49. ^ "Swiss album positions" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  50. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart for the week ending 16 May 2010". ChartsPlus (Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd) (456): 5. 2010-05-16. 
  51. ^ "Total Life Forever - Foals". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 

External links[edit]