Foxygen "… And Star Power" (Jagjaguwar 2014)
There’s a lot to take in here. There’s over 20 tracks that run in excess of 80 minutes. There’s a variety of styles and feels. There’s both gentle songcraft and bombastic noise. There’s times when the band appears to be out to create memorable warped pop, and other times when they’re just up to mischief and shenanigans.
As I listen though the sprawling double album I hear snatches of Todd Rundgren, ELO, John Lennon’s White Album songs, Skip Spence from Oar, and when they do soft pop I’m reminded of Bergen White. There’s one selection on which it seems they’re trying to recreate Suicide. Some of the sillier tracks are things that I knew, after one listen, I never needed to hear again; but the eight or 10 best songs are gems that invite repeated listens.
One thing I like about Foxygen is that their best stuff can somehow be both throwaway toss-offs yet utterly pleasurable. Also, they manage to be inventive while clearly referencing their influences. As for this new album, while some of their fans will likely enjoy the more playful moments, I wish they had cut out the silliness and cut the album’s length in half. The best 35 or 40 minutes here, isolated from the rest of it, would constitute a candidate for a top five album of the year.
Review made by Brian Greene/2014
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