Foxygen - Hang

by Jim Harris Rating:4 Release Date:2017-01-20

Foxygen have always created these uncomfortable soundscapes that I never know whether to like or not, or whether to play again, and are they being serious or seriously derivative, simply put, they haven’t really delivered a complete enough album for me to play consistently. And their last album, …And Star Power, while ambitious, turned into a sloppy mess of mismatched musical cleverness for most of the album.

Now Hang comes along and it seals their likeability quotient for me.  I don’t like their sound.  The obvious beginning tribute to Jeff Lynn I found annoying and the ensuing strings and flirty beats more than cloying.  And the overly inflected Bowie as lounge act vocals that consistently punctuate this album make it even more difficult. (At least previously, there were some Jaggeresque bursts…)

It’s one thing to take chances with an overly ambitious song like ‘America’ with its big band following along, and then deliver on that ambition.  It doesn’t.  In fact, after the first three songs, even though this album is barely 30 minutes long, it degenerates into uncomfortable areas where it sounds like a band in over their head.  With the added orchestra it’s like a couple of casio tinklers taking a ride in the backseat of a late-model Cadillac trying to play along to 70s AM radio.

This band needs to be told, like many bands starting out in their bedrooms nowadays, that in order to deliver a full album, they need to put together a full album of songs.

Foxygen has yet to do that. Hang is their worst album yet. 

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