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FOXYGEN - HANG  
 
By: Jess Sanchez
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After a two year hiatus, Foxygen has solved that age-old quandary, "what's the best way to make an entrance?" Well, apparently it's securing a 40 piece band for your next album. A memorable entrance definitely, but does it make for a good album?


I reviewed Foxygen's last album in 2014 and remember being captivated by the band's creativity and unique approach to the album itself. Like someone was turning the knobs on an old radio dial. Alternatively, Hang opens up with two completely over the top tracks, “Follow the Leader” and “Avalon,” which admittedly set me on edge. “Avalon” in particular is something I guarantee you wouldn't expect to hear, as it quickly dissolves from Indie to straight up Swing Jazz.

 

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FOXYGEN - HANG


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Click to Play  FOXYGEN - “FOLLOW THE LEADER”

 
   
 
 

I was ready to give this album a less than stellar review but I wasn't reveling in it. Hang is obviously an elaborate homage to 70's Rock Opera (a la Meatloaf) and I have been in love with that genre my entire life. I worried that if this was the revival I was waiting for, maybe I didn't love it as much as I thought, or maybe I was missing something? Once I got past the aftershock of “Avalon” however, the album seemed to fall into place for me and I could feel myself becoming immersed finally. Except for one thing: the vocals.


Sam France's vocals can be absolutely devastating and that goes both ways. His lilting croon can really add something amazing to a track, but occasionally France takes his vocals to a place where you can't tell if he's being serious or not. And more than occasionally on Hang, France had me wondering if he knew his Mick Jagger impression sounded more like Count Dracula.


Overall I believe Foxygen used the 40 piece band well, as it never seemed wasted. The songs, although sometimes very brief, are certainly memorable (“On Lankershim” is definitely the highlight of the album). Hang is not an album for the faint of heart: you have to really give this one a listen to get what you need from it.
 
 
     
     
 
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