US - California - Full Moon 224 - 12/06/14
...And Star Power
...And Star Power, Foygen's second album is something completely different. At times it sounds like a big joke, like it's been written and recorded with a big grin, tongue-in-cheek.
I am probably wrong here, but this is the feeling I get when listening through the album. Jonathan Rado and Sam France sound like pranksters, having had a great year or two, leading to a real
good life in transit, and in studio - recording ...And Star Power. This album is the sound of punky flower-pop with a twist. It is both somewhat weird - and way cool. At the same time.
Rado and France have been going stellar creating this album, and they have even surfed the cosmic wave, like with the single, "Cosmic Vibrations". Foxygen have expanded into a nine-piece
touring machine, named Star Power. And, yes, after listening to this Star Power, by Star Power, it is quite obvious that they have been inspired by Sonic Youth's "Starpower" (the first
single from SY's third album, Evol from 1986). Or, Sonic Youth in general, but Foxygen have of course spiced up (spaced out) their cooking, creating an insanely mixed bag of music. Imagine
Sonic Youth blended into The Who and Queen, or something like that. When their 'rock opera' (sort of) take off with "Star Power I: Overture", "Star Power II: Star Power Nite", "Star Power
III: What Are We Good For" and "Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh", well, I.... look for a way out. I am not sure what to say, if I should take this seriously or what...
...And Star Power is w-a-y too long. 24 tracks, over 1 hour 22 minutes... Which can be heavy, and, yes, this is too much. There is some brilliance and gold in here, but there are loads
of... crap as well. Sorry, crap is a bit too harsh. Here are some uninspired, noisy parts totally out of control and out of reach. Then there are some tender balladry, just to get the balance
right, just to let everything become equal. At least for me they are. Experimental stuff? Yes. Inspiring stuff? In portions, partly, sometimes. This is a halfway album. The first part is promising,
from when opener "Star Power Airlines" speed up, or run up its motors, and then takes off. "Cosmic Vibrations" was described by us last month, but I think
I prefer the 1970s groove of the album's first single, the really loose and cool "How Can You Really". The piano-driven (with some semi-porn guitars) ballad "Coulda Been My Love" is also very
fresh and soothing. As the album goes on, I find more of the songs to be of (or they sound like conceived in) a joking state of mind. Like "666", "Hot Summer" or "Wally's Farm". After a while
I get bored, but then again, it helps to hear the swirling "Talk". Even if it is a joke. Foxygen also present some cheesy ballads, at the border of decency, such as "Cannibal Holocaust" or
"Everyone Needs Love". Some of their songs sound like they are deep into porn-land when it comes to music almost 'shot' with some greased and blurred lens. Vaseline all over the glass eye.
It's hard to summarise this album in one sentence. ...And Star Power is full-blown pop-schizophrenia. Not for the faint-hearted, nor for the hard-hearted. Maybe for the mild-mannered
jokers of the world. All you need is Evol!
Copyright © 2014 Howard Popeye