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Old 04-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Default Foxygen ...and Star Power

Recently I had the great, great pleasure of catching the almost schizophrenic-sounding throwback psych-rock band Foxygen at one of their shows, and was completely blown away. The amount of energy the band put forth for the entire set was baffling, and I can only say that it will be hard for another band to truly impress me the way Foxygen did.

Foxygen ...And Star Power is the latest album by the band, released back in October of 2014. A large sprawling double album, (More than 82 Minutes in length!) Foxygen hearkens back to their early days by returning to a lo-fi production technique and schizophrenic style of songwriting, quickly jumping from idea to idea multiple times in a single track. Some extremely experimental stuff going on here.

And, as most double albums tend to have, ...and Star Power comes with a loose concept. Foxygen has joined the Punk-Rock-Band-Abducted-By-Aliens called Star Power and this is detailing the adventures they share. Or something. It is a very VERY loose concept, and it allows the listener to form their own story with it.

At 24 tracks, and 82 minutes in length, one can imagine the staggering amount of material here. And one can imagine the staggering amount of filler material here.

And, at first listen, it seems like that most of the tracks on here are, in fact, filler. Nothing really seems to jump out at you on your first listen through this album. It is kind of a flat-planed experience due to the production techniques being used, and that can be pretty off putting to tons of listeners.

But, as I am, I picked up the album again after going to the show, and returned to it with fresh ears.

And upon returning, I still felt very overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tracks, and underwhelmed at the quality.

But, after a few more listens, I have grown to appreciate the album more than I originally thought I would.

For me, this is more than just a double album. It is more akin to a triple album. Three albums, with completely different feelings and approaches.
The first album being the first 10 tracks. The first 10 tracks on this album are unerringly solid front to back, if you can get past the production.
The second album being the next 8 tracks, marking the extremely experimental tracks.
And the remaining 6 tracks would be the third album, returning to the more listenable side of Foxygen.

So. I present to you four different ratings. 3 for each "album" that I perceived, and one for the overall.

Album 1 - 8/10. I extremely enjoy the first 10 tracks on this album, and would recommend anyone who enjoys lo-fi psych rock to at least check out these tracks, if not the whole album.

Album 2 - 5/10. Believe me, I am a fan of experimentation. But Foxygen just doesnt present many interesting ideas in this section of the album, and it suffers because of that. And its not to say there aren't stronger tracks hidden within this mess, there are, but they are few and far between.

Album 3- 6/10. Returning to the more listenable side of the album, but sticking with the experimental side of it as well, this side of the album is definitely an interesting listen. But all in all, aside from the penultimate track on here, it is simply filled with blander tracks.

OVERALL- 7/10. I extremely enjoy MOST of this album, but it is outweighed by the amount of simply mediocre material placed at the center of the album. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys 70s rock idols such as David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, and to anyone who enjoys the Psych-Rock genre. The album is definitely not for everyone, and will more than likely be a grower to most.
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