...And Star Power

Written by: BV on 27/10/2014 21:20:25

I welcomed Foxygen with wide open arms when I initially stumbled upon their mighty album, ”We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic”. I even went as far as calling portions of the album ”quite the psychotropic journey that takes the listener through various feeling of paranoia, upbeat party-moods and strangely erratic moods” whilst continuing to hail admiration down upon the duo. However, in recent times their internal debacles and notoriety has taken up much more space than their actual progress on their follow-up album “…And Star Power” which boded trouble from the get-go. Now it’s here though, and at 82 minutes it is a whopping statement that could either fail miserably or go on to become their mightiest opus.

From my point of view, the direction of the album quite possibly leans quite a bit on the ‘failure-side’ of this particular spectrum. Tracks like “Cosmic Vibrations” start off fascinatingly enough, but as is the case with most of the songs on “…And Star Power”, these initially fascinating ideas quickly descend into the abyss, leaving behind a foul stench of ‘what if?’ feelings, showcasing the massive amount of unfulfilled promise throughout the 82 minute runtime. The low-key, slightly hypnotic organ and the lazy vocals of “Cosmic Vibrations” are initially alluring, showcasing an interesting take on semi-melancholic psychedelic adventures (quite the opposite of their sunshine-driveling previous outing). However, the lack of development throughout the 5-minute duration of the track exemplifies everything that seems amiss with “…And Star Power”. They have the songs. They even have a lot of them – but it seems that Foxygen were hell-bent on including as many as possible, instead of refining a few that could then be amazing.

The massively self-indulgent suite which shares the album’s title is borderline superfluous and there seems to be no legitimate reason for including it on the album. Throughout its four parts; “Overture”, “Star Power Nite”, “What Are We Good For” and “Ooh Ooh” there is very little to keep the listener fixated on the music at hand. “Ooh Ooh” goes semi orchestral – to great benefit of the track in itself, but when all is said and done, these four parts of the collective suite seem to be nothing more than musical interludes – filler material on an album that is already too long for many modern listeners’ attention span – some would even argue it is too long for those who like lengthy musical journeys due to its twisted, schizophrenic and highly unfocused musical vision.

There are still songs on the album that seem fully developed and, as such, are immediately more interesting than most of the album combined. “Mattress Warehouse” goes borderline 80’s synthpop paired up with eclectic psych pop in a grandiose, fully developed track that recalls the Foxygen of old, while “Flowers” channels alluring, psychedelic simplicity with its beautiful vocal harmonies, simple chord progressions and sparse rhythmical foundation.

In essence, “…And Star Power” mostly seems scattered, silly and most of all without greater impact. It is slightly depressing to be sitting here, listening to a band you adored whilst thinking to yourself; “Man, they sure dropped the ball in the space of just 18 months or so.”


Download: Mattress Warehouse, Flowers, Cannibal Holocaust
For The Fans Of: Jacco Gardner, Morgan Delt, Temples

Release date 14.10.2014

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