Monday, 2 September 2013

Reviewed: Foster The People - Machu Picchu (The Strokes Cover)

Definitely one of the best cover versions I've heard in a while! This is Foster The People taking on Machu Picchu, which is originally by The Strokes. You can find The Strokes' original version on their 2011 album Angles, where it serves as the opening track to the record. As for Foster The People's version - it's from BBC's Radio 1 Live Lounge 2012 compilation.  As for their reasons for covering the song, Mark Foster (rather humorously) offered this by means of an explanation: "The song title sounds like a Pokemon character". I'm not kidding, although he does have a point. More seriously though he did go on to say "It's a rock song we wanted to flip on its head." as well as wanting to give it more of a "psychedelic" feel. I have to agree with him there - Foster The People's version is more psychedelic, especially the last minute or so. The ending is rather different from the original actually. I don't really like the ending of The Strokes version to be honest. It's just too harsh when the song should have a more relaxed arrangement. Other than that though the two versions aren't too dissimilar from the other. It's a rather faithful re-working for the most part really. The original just sounds a fraction more hard hitting, particularly the guitars. As for my preferred version I definitely prefer Foster The People's take on it. It just sounds more natural. In fact, had I not been informed that it was a cover version, I'd have just assumed it was a Foster The People original. The song fits their style with effortless ease. Not only that but it sounds so organic. It's as if their version is the way it originally should have sounded. The vocals are also great too - I love Mark Foster's voice on record but live he's even better still. To be honest, the whole group sound even better live than they do in the studio (and I loved Torches). A fabulous effort indeed; now hurry up and announce the sophomore album!

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