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Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” wins #1 notch on Spotify US top 100 list

Spotify has released its top 100 lists for 2011. They include staff favorites, too. Here are the first ten user picks from the Spotify United States top 100 roster, which leads with Foster the People‘s rather disturbing (but very listenable) song, “Pumped Up Kicks.”

1. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People

2. Stereo Hearts – feat. Adam Levine, Gym Class Heroes

3. Rolling In the Deep, Adele

4. We Found Love, Rihanna, Calvin Harris

5. Helena Beat, Foster the People

6. Moves like Jagger, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera

7. Super Bass, Nicki Minaj

8. Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex

9. Give Me Everything, Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer

10. Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO, Lauren Bennett, GoonRock

Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” is definitely an underground tune with its scary, creepy lyrics:

Robert’s got a quick hand.

He’ll look around the room, he won’t tell you his plan.

He’s got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he’s a cowboy kid.

Yeah, he found a six shooter gun.

In his dad’s closet hidden with a box of fun things, and I don’t even know what.

But he’s coming for you, yeah he’s coming for you.

Foster the People singer Mark Foster explained the meaning of the song to Spinner UK.

“‘Pumped Up Kicks’ is about a kid that basically is losing his mind and is plotting revenge. He’s an outcast. I feel like the youth in our culture are becoming more and more isolated. It’s kind of an epidemic. Instead of writing about victims and some tragedy, I wanted to get into the killer’s mind, like Truman Capote did in ‘In Cold Blood.’ I love to write about characters. That’s my style. I really like to get inside the heads of other people and try to walk in their shoes.”

Interestingly, the clip isn’t anywhere near the top of Billboard’s 2011 Year End Most Popular Radio Songs list (it is number 29). This scotches my theory that music social network users still follow the lead of commercial radio when constructing their playlists.

On the other hand, if Billboard is to be believed, “Pumped” isn’t a top 75 downloaded song either. So I guess there are now at least three categories to follow: radio, downloaded, and played-on-the-cloud. Actually, there are five if you include ringtones and videos, but that’s too much complexity for me to handle on the cusp of New Year’s weekend.

I’m not sure how much sociological fatalism to attach the popularity of “Pumped.” The echoey, distant sound of the vocals make the lyrics difficult to understand, so what emerges is the cheery, almost marching-band mood of the piece.

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2 Responses to Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” wins #1 notch on Spotify US top 100 list

  1. Questing Elf December 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Michael Medved uses “Pumped Up Kids” as a bumper during his national show, the starting part with the bass line and the whistling part.

  2. RStarFan July 18, 2016 at 5:47 am #

    Foster the People – best band I’ve heard since.. Nirvana :). Pumped Up Kicks this song will never get old

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