Hurry up, while it’s still here!
The album opens with a birth. A gateway to a mystical world, an image that seems just out of the frame of reality. On its own, “Moonlight” could be assumed as a middle track, an extended interlude, yet it holds down the fort as the opener to Foals’ Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1. It seamlessly runs into the swagger-tinged “Exits,” which carries the feel of the rest of the album at its heels. But while the nighttime hours remain, “Moonlight” lingers in the ears and beckons for the album to be heard again so goosebumps can slowly walk their way up arms.
“Exits” could make for a fine promotional single, yet it looks up in admiration as “White Onions” drags the inner dancer out of the timid listener. Possibly the angriest the band gets, but a controlled anger that is easier to appreciate and analyze than some punky thrash. “White Onions” is barely half as long as its predecessor, with “Exits” taking its time to let the instruments shine.
“In Degrees” jumps in with comparable energy whilst feeling like the soundtrack to a racing scene in a movie like Wreck-It Ralph. It makes for an appropriate middle track, but the breath that the drums take, roughly 2:50 minutes into the song, feels deep, triumphant, not ready to quit just yet; that’s what makes this song a winner.
“Syrups” fits in snug next to its cohorts without dazzling too many passersby. The guitar lick that says “hello” for thirty seconds or so in the front half of the song is intriguing, but it only sticks around for that much. A proud synth line comes in and carries the latter half of the song, also getting the last laugh. “On the Luna” occupies a similar role among the others, as does “Cafe D’Athens,” with “Luna” gravitating closest to straight-ahead rock and “Athens” flaunting its avant-garde groove, dotted with marimba. And right before it goes, its final note is reminiscent of John Williams’ iconic soundtrack to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
After “Surf, Pt.1” coasts by in under a minute, the powerhouse of the album walks in to frame. “Sunday” is a strong number with a lazy profoundness to it, a wisdom, an understood melancholy. It would be very at home in a romantic comedy, particularly a TV show like Chuck or How I Met Your Mother, with some Band of Horses inspiration present. What would otherwise be a fairly common chord progression is bedazzled by the second chord of the four, one that sheds some honest darkness on a song that predominantly has a shine to it.
Without checking the tracklist, it’d be easy and natural to assume that “Sunday” would close out the album, yet one track sneaks in after it. The closer, “I’m Done With the World (& It’s Done With Me),” makes a fine ending as is, especially with beautiful piano chords that introduce the song–as well as the rather grim message–but it is difficult to ignore how much “Sunday” fits an end credits sequence. Nevertheless, the albums wraps up nicely, stays comfortably consistent throughout (without repeating itself) and makes us wonder in anticipation what Part 2 will sound like. Listen to this before it’s lost.