Albums to watch

Holy Fire


Holy Fire

Album number three from the Mercury-nominated Oxford indie dance-rock five-piece

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Warner Bros
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  1. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Their long-standing swagger is finally justified. Time to bask in its reflected glory
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  2. 9.0 |   The 405

    The urgency of old has been mixed with the tender beauty of their more recent output
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  3. 9.0 |   NME

    Cast off their spiky, mathletic shackles and head for the big league
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  4. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    The sound of a band utterly on form and completely on top of their game
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  5. 9.0 |   Tone Deaf

    Shows definite progression, with matured melodies and fewer cheesy riffs
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  6. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Holy Fire is Foals’ masterpiece because it ties in the rhythmic nature of their debut, the soul of the second album, producing finally the rhythmic soul of its own
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  7. 8.3 |   The AU Review

    Meets the high watermark set by their previous albums
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  8. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    The record’s hooks are different than those of many pop songs; instead of slowly tiring with each listen, they seem to grow with intensity when you dive deeper into them
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  9. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    Holy Fire’s layered, painstakingly constructed songs practically beg for repeated late-night, full-volume listens, and there are enough hints of brilliance to keep Foals near the top of its class
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  10. 8.0 |   State

    Skillfully composed and never short of innovative, Foals’ third is the first future-classic of 2013
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  11. 8.0 |   The Fly

    Bouncy indie pop sits shoulder to shoulder with expansive soundscapes and the crescendo remains king
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  12. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Overall they’ve never sounded bigger, or better
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  13. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Defined by its lithe, slinky guitars, its twinkling, quicksilver keys, and its accessible Flood/Moulder production
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  14. 8.0 |   Art Rocker

    A genuinely interesting and enjoyable album
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  15. 8.0 |   Q

    On this voodoo-inspired record of unfettered ambition, Foals have achieved a rare magic. Print edition only

  16. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Nearly three years in the making, this follow-up doesn't present audiences with the same kind of leap; it's more a nuanced sharpening of their abilities
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  17. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It’s Foals sounding the most arena-ready they ever have
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  18. 8.0 |   BBC

    The Oxford outfit finally evolves a sound to suit its mainstream status
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  19. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    An album by a British guitar band who want to win a huge audience without writing chantalongs for the drinkers' crowd, or lowest-emotional-common-denominator piano ballads
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  20. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Far from flawless but interesting enough to raise the question: where to next?
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  21. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Despite its muscular moments Holy Fire is a pneumatic, vaporous-sounding record that deals mostly with the ache, ambience and eventual acceptance of being alone
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  22. 7.8 |   Paste Magazine

    As a whole, Holy Fire is a bold effort from Foals, but like on Total Life Forever, there are few clear standout tracks admist a lot forgettable mood-setting filler
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  23. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    A very good, ambitious record, one that operates on an artistic economy of scale
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  24. 7.4 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Another sterling addition to Foals’ repertoire
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  25. 7.2 |   Beats Per Minute

    It lacks a genuine peak like Spanish Sahara or Balloons, but it achieves greater consistency elementally, if not tonally
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  26. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    This is Foals at their most mature, knowing that they have a lot to live up to and doing everything they can to deliver
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  27. 7.0 |   Clash

    There’s plenty to commend it, but with such high expectations, it’s perhaps inevitable that this album could never live up to them
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  28. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Philippkas’ voice isn’t always as pliant as he may think it is, and it strains throughout Holy Fire‘s more demanding tracks
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  29. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Step into the big leagues for once bookish quintet. Print edition only

  30. 6.5 |   Under The Radar

    Review 1: Reveals a band adept at carving out arc and terrain in its music, and demonstrates a big step forward with a newfound coherence (8/10) Review 2: It is Foals-by-the-numbers and the band's apparent lack of energy renders it cold and forgettable (6/10)
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  31. 6.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Yannis Philippakis sounds like the Anglo-cized version of My Morning Jacket's Jim James as he sets his echo-laden yelp over burbling Talking Heads grooves and plasticine
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  32. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Nothing here is quite holy enough, or quite fiery enough, to live up to the album's billing
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  33. 6.0 |   Mojo

    A tad more mannered and staid than you'd expect from these former experimentalists. Print edition only

  34. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    With two relatively successful albums under their belt, the band seems buoyed by the concrete assurance of their own skil
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  35. 6.0 |   The Scotsman

    At its best, there is a Talking Heads insouciance to Holy Fire although it does run out of steam and songs towards the finishing line
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  36. 6.0 |   The Independent

    Foals move further away from their nerdy math-rock origins to a more muscular rock'n'roll style
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  37. 5.0 |   No Ripcord

    The band's superb songwriting does not shine through like their earlier releases, but rather fizzes out
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Foals: Holy Fire

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