Foxygen - ...And Star Power - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Foxygen - ...And Star Power

by Jim Harris Rating:7 Release Date:2014-10-13

You can’t help but like Foxygen. Their innocently rambunctious style is underscored by a deep desire to craft the perfect pop song, which they almost hit occasionally. But like the happy, bouncy genius with ADHD who can’t quite seem to concentrate and goes all over the place, ...And Star Power goes all over the place. 

While you would like to believe this is their Tommy or White Album, and Foxygen would like to tell you this is a classic two-CD set, it still has the feel of a talented work that could use a heavy shot of Ritalin. When you take away the pysch fillers, bouncy, playful piano lead-ins, and other Magical Mystery Tour add-ins, you have essentially about the same type of songs from their previous albums but frankly, not so many.

Foxygen clearly do their homework on that 60s/70s love-me-til-I’m-putrid sound, which is clearly established in the first real track, ‘How Can You Really’, a pouty near-gorgeous love song. But then the lo-fi lulls begin and 10 minutes later a song like ‘You and I’ join the 'laborious to listen to' mix, where the vocals near the end make it sound like a Magnetic Fields song omitted from 69 Love Songs.

And while I love the opening piano of the first of the ‘Star Power’ opus, the other three ensuing ‘Star Power’ refrains sound more like musical pieces played at the intermission of Hair, as they seem curiously incomplete. There’s a bit of redemption when the shoegazey ‘I don’t Have Anything/The Gate’ eases in, sounding like a cross between Mazzy Star and a bad Pink Floyd ballad, but the bulk of the remaining songs don’t seem nearly as powerful as the best tracks off their last album and have the band meandering through a series of 'see how well I play a riff without having a song' moments.

...And Star Power contains much serious musical bling/bling, a joyous number of stops and starts and explosive intros and interludes, but ultimately there resides, in amongst it all, only two or three solid songs. You are asking a lot of the listener when you do this, and in the case of ...And Star Power, Foxygen may just have bitten off a little more than they can creatively chew.  But if ambition is the better part of success, ultimately they may have pulled it off.  

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