Saturday, February 9, 2013
ALBUM REVIEW - Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Embassadors of Peace and Magic
Foxygen first caught my attention with their fantastic EP earlier in 2012 entitled "Take the Kids Off Broadway." I really enjoyed that piece of music and it was a nice little surprise to me that was loaded with some really intriguing garage/indie pop music. Naturally I kept up with the group and was excited to hear about the release of this; Foxygen's first full length album, "We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of War and Peace."
These guys are obviously have a number of influences and they definitely are not shy about displaying their infatuation with some of the greatest musicians of all time. For example, the opening track, "In The Darkness" sounds like it definitely takes influences from the Beatles, more specifically "Sgt Peppers". And I'll be honest, although most people wouldnt' like this, I found it very refreshing that Foxygen were so able to embrace their influences. The influences don't stop there. There's shades of Bob Dylan's Golden period, the Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees, and many, many more. But don't be fooled, this 60's and 70's fantasizing is also accompanied by a very memorable, unique style from Foxygen.
Like I said before, Foxygen are a indie pop band with some garage rock feel occassionally. I love it when Foxygen utilize intriguing guitar riffs and playful-sounding drums at times on this record only to have these much more orthodox segments be interrupted by epic jamming or vocal breaks like on the the track "Oh Yeah." Foxygen can be high energy and high emotion but can bring you to a more intimate feel in a matter of minutes. This sharply unnatural contrast works well even though you know that it shouldn't.
My Favorite tracks are "On Blue Mountain", "San Francisco", "Shuggie" and "We are the 21st Century..." All of these tracks are refreshing, new, and really stood out for me. So if you are thinking about listening to this album, I would definitely listen to the whole thing, but focus on these tracks when re-listening like I have done 5 or 6 times. If you are thinking of venturing into indie music, this album would be a FANTASTIC place to start for new listeners because it is so friendly and inviting to fans of other genres. I think it does this through its playful use of rock elements while still providing that signature "indie" music feel.
In my opinion, Foxygen's first full-length album is the first great album of 2013. I am very excited to listen to it over and over again. I have already listened to it a number of times and it only gets better and better in my mind. I'm overall really impressed by this effort from the band and I will definitely look for them more in the future.