AOTY 2021

Total Life Forever

Foals - Total Life Forever
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2010 Ratings: #112 / 900
Year End Rank: #24
User Score
Based on 374 ratings
2010 Ratings: #80
Liked by 17 people
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The Fly
At a time when there’s a dearth of new guitar bands, ‘Total Life Forever’ will establish Foals as one of the UK’s most important – their second album is an inventive, thrilling and flawless masterpiece.
A.V. Club

TLF is a bid to be less in your face than in your head, and while its effect is less immediate, it’s a comedown that’s way more fun than the party.


As soon as Foals’ guitars begin their patient chime, it’s clear that this is a band suddenly and surprisingly in full control of its powers.

‘Total Life Forever’ is a massive leap forward for the band. The music writhes with a renewed ambition, capable of moving from near ambient strains of electronica to propulsive African funk in a drum break. Shifting from their 2D debut album, ‘Total Life Forever’ is a three-dimensional triumph.
Alternative Press
Even when Foals stretch back into the comfortable strides of danceable beats and scratchy guitars, it is tinged with something sour and slightly acidic. This isn't the same band we once knew–thank heaven for that.

At every turn, Total Life Forever is inviting. Much more alive than earlier efforts, it's an album with a complexion that constantly changes with time.

Beats Per Minute
Foals is a band with untapped potential: they’ve got a solid vocalist, are more than competent at their instruments, and clearly have an ear for melodies, but the way they put their music together remains mostly uninspiring.
Drowned in Sound

Where Antidotes had blitzkriegs, Total Life Forever has drawn-out hypnoses; where Antidotes was furious and muscular and destructive, Total Life Forever is quiet and sinister and inconsolable.


Where some see restraint, others may very well see refinement, and those who appreciated Antidotes' more spacy passages will find that Foals' reinvention of their sound is a calculated risk that definitely pays off.

American Songwriter
Some songs linger too long like a bee that tip-toes across your skin trying to discern whether you really are in fact pollen.
Tiny Mix Tapes

At its core, Total Life Forever is a good dance record: something you could leave on at a party and not stop moving to until its full 50 minutes have finished. But as much as it tries to run away from that, it isn’t a whole lot else.

aight so if my pfp didnt give it away I am a BIT biased fine, sure. but hear me out.

While I was a child in 2008 and didnt know what a foal was I can imagine after hearing unique, off the wall, dancy, melancholic mayhem on antidotes, this isnt really what a lot of foals fans were hoping for in their follow up release. Hell antidotes is one of my favourite albums, even the creepy ominous bsides and childish artwork of that era had something special about them that foals would never really visit ... read more
There's something so incredibly satisfying about this album. It's simplistic, sure, but it's still a very well-rounded, cohesive album. It's a great take on the indie genre. In my opinion, music doesn't need to be innovative to be good, so long as you deliver your original take on an already existing genre and you do it well, I can appreciate it. That's exactly what Foals do on TLF.
Elements of this album reminded me of The Cure when I first heard it, maybe you'll hear it on "Total Life Forever", and just in how they went from dance-punk to a more palatable genre like The Cure did with their sound over the course of their first few records. The change to more contemporary crossover sounding fare was somewhat polarizing but the risks taken on a lot of these tracks are rewarding. It's also the most definitive statement from the band as a whole, earning way more ... read more
One of the best indie rock albums of the past decade.
The end of Spanish Sahara gave me goosebumps
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