“Pumped Up Kicks” band returns with deflated album

Imagine, if you can, a time when you hadn't heard Foster the People's “Pumped Up Kicks” hundreds of times. As annoying as the hit became, the psych-lite song managed to worm its way into everyone's ears despite being about homicidal thoughts. On new album Sacred Hearts Club, Foster the People ditches that contrast for a sound that aims for something like Maroon 5-meets-Phoenix. The songs feel smoothed-over and utterly flavorless, with milquetoast melodies made worse by inane lyrics. I never thought I'd say this, but after Sacred Hearts Club, I long for the days of “Pumped Up Kicks.” (Fans only)