‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2’: Returning to the Heaviness of ‘What Went Down’

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 2

Maggie Steber

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2

Earlier this year, Foals released the first part of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, and it was marketed as a call back to their earlier albums. It broke away from the heaviness shown in What Went Down and introduced the “danciest” songs they had ever made. The second half was finally dropped on October 18 and follows the tones of Holy Fire and What Went Down far more closely.

Foals are best known for their fourth album What Went Down, with their most popular song “Mountain at My Gates” coming from it. Their other albums have all been relatively successful. 

The album follows up on the themes of the first part, with the lyrics pointing at an apocalyptic future. While Part 1 is concerned with building an intense eerie atmosphere, Part 2 is much more focused on recovery and moving on.

The first single released for the album was “Black Bull,” receiving mixed reviews from fans. It served as the most simple, heavy-rock song they’d ever made. It reflected the “Inhaler/Snake Oil” side of Foals. The frequently-joked-about “drink your kombucha” line is clearly not the peak of songwriting. However, despite the simple loudness of the track, it fits perfectly in the album. Sandwiched between “Wash Off” and “Like Lightning,” “Black Bull” keeps the stretch of the album consistently fast and exciting. 

The album is opened by a combination of “Red Desert” and “The Runner.” Many people’s first thoughts on the album centered around the stunning transition between the two songs, which is made even more impressive after learning that “Red Desert” was originally made to be the opening for “Exits” from the previous album. “Red Desert” starts the album off on an eerie note and doesn’t run too long. It then transition perfectly into the heaviness of “The Runner.”

The combination of the two perfectly sets the tone for the first half of the album, positioning the album to be Foal’s heaviest one yet. Despite giving an equally loud, fast, and hard tone to “Black Bull,” the song feels much more Foals. There are far more layers to the song, and Yannis actually sounds like Yannis. The lyrics are also far more coherent, tying to the idea of Part 2 being about recovering from the apocalyptic event described in Part 1. It’s a relatively standard take on getting back up after falling. 

“Wash Off” is certainly the fastest song of the album, bringing an upbeat energy that follows after “The Runner.” The high energy of it, combined with the mathy tones, is extremely fun. The song was apparently from the Holy Fire-era of Foals, and it is a bit reminiscent of “Inhaler,” a song that they continued to play live until recently.

“Like Lightning” is probably my least favorite from the album, as it feels a little too “car commercial” rock to me. It doesn’t truly resonate like Foals, and feels like it could have easily come from any other alternative rock band. However it is by far the most catchy song of all of them. The lyrics are easy to understand and the chorus is a clear and an absolute blast to sing along to. It’s lyrics are oddly motivational, but pretty coherent.

“Dreaming Of” is currently my favorite song off of Part 2. It’s very interesting, both in terms of sound and lyrics. It has a disco vibe that adds an interesting element to the track. The lyrics also have an interesting dynamics with the flowery descriptions of an objectively bleak situation. It’s extremely catchy and has a great vibe. I define this as the start of the second half of the album, which has more of a low-key vibe.

“Ikaria” is an interlude of sorts, composed of all piano. It’s gentle, which is a nice break before 10,000 feet. It gives a taste of what an all piano Foals song could be.

“10,000 Feet” (originally named “Cut Like a Diamond”) is the heaviest song of the second half of the album. It is reminiscent of “Snake Oil” with its guitar bits, but it’s more mathy and complex. It’s very Foals with the complexity of the sound. 

“Into the Surf” is very reminiscent of their second album Total Life Forever. It’s the most gentle song on the album by far (except for “Ikaria”). It’s way less heavy than the rest of the album.

“Neptune” is ten minutes of absolute beauty. Despite the length, it doesn’t feel drawn out and every second seems to have a purpose. It’s a favorite of many fans, and it feels like an even more epic “Spanish Sahara.”

The last three songs of the album can easily be compared to the last three of Holy Fire. “10,000 Feet” and “Providence” are heavy-hitting jams. “Stepson” and “Into the Surf” are both sad, mellow songs. Finally, “Neptune” and “Moon” are both extremely strong ends, though “Neptune” is a good bit heavier.

Part 2 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, as a whole, is an extremely cohesive and heavy collection, with only a couple songs I’m personally not wild about. It builds off of the first part and delivers a completely different experience. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who had previously appreciated Foals, particularly their album What Went Down or anyone who likes relatively intense alternative/rock music.