Foreign Born – Person to Person

January 01, 1970

(Secretly Canadian)


Los Angeles
band Foreign Born has that vague Arcade Fire feeling, a group with a big sound
that makes it seem more like a collective than a band. Their first release for
Secretly Canadian is a lively one, thanks mostly to the percussion. More than a
few tracks prominently feature foot-stomping tribal beats, played mostly on an
ordinary, untribal drum set. The guitar licks, meanwhile, approach a spidery
post-punk feel, but never quite give into the stereotype. (“That Old Sun” opts
for more of a sinewy, sitar aesthetic.) A quiet but furiously strummed acoustic
often provides some background cushion and drone. Singer Matt Popieluch’s
nondescript vocals aren’t unpleasant at all, nor are his lyrics, but they’re
both safe enough to go mostly unnoticed.


If that rundown doesn’t inspire you to immediately head to
your downloading service of choice, it’s understandable. While there’s some
stuff to like here, particularly in the album’s first half (“Vacationing People”
will likely find its way onto lots of mixes), there’s also not much to separate
Foreign Born from the rest of their indie-rock ilk. Person to Person is
an easy listen, but it’s also an easy one to let slide by without much thought.


Standout Tracks: “That Old Sun,” “Vacationing People” JOEL OLIPHINT




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