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Foxygen Album Review

posted May 21, 2013, 4:09 PM by Golden Knight

By Tomas Gulbinas 


With the release of their second studio album, Foxygen have finally found their own unique sound. “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” blends elements of 60’s psychedelic and dreamy lyrics to create an album that captures the essence and free-spirited nature of the early American counter culture movements. The two sole band members, Jonathan Rado and Sam France, who met in high school, grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and started becoming multi-instrumentalists, after being influenced by “The Brian Jamestown Massacre”. After a series of EP’s and a first album, Foxygen finally gained wide recognition with the release of this second album.

The lyrics echo the feelings and sounds of another generation, but still have the wit and insight of growing up in a modern city. The album opens up with “In the Darkness”, which self- introduces the album with lyrics such as “So without further ado/We'd like to introduce you to/The darkness”, followed by an audience applauding, taking direct influence from the opening track of the classic ,“The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. Followed by that is the folky Bob Dylan-esque “No Destruction”, which is overflowing with reminiscent and nostalgic lyrics like “You politely say, "I miss you"/But we know you don't mean that anymore”. The tone becomes more vague and hazy as they divulge deeper into their psychedelic influences with the songs “On Blue Mountain” and the closing track “Oh No” describing hallucinogenic scenes such as, “I was standing on the bed/Birds were landing on my head/Even though it's just a dream/I still don't know what it means”. In “San Francisco”, a city that they continually reference throughout the album, is described with witty mixed feelings as France confesses, “I left my love in the room/ (that's okay, I was born in L.A.)”. The album’s first single “Shuggie”, begins with France’s sleepy voice singing, “I met your daughter the other day, well that was weird/She had rhinoceros shaped earrings in her ears, with a tired sadness behind his voice.  Perhaps the most experimental of all the songs, “Bowling Trophies”, features a loud and noise filled instrumental, the only song on the album of its sort.

The last three songs on the album, which include Oh Yea, the title track, and Oh No, seem like homage to their favorite classic rock bands. “Oh Yeah” starts out with Mick Jagger like howling, and suddenly wanders into a reggae sound in the line of Led Zeppelin’s “D'yer Mak'er”. The title track however, goes in a different direction entirely, sounding like it had come straight from a “The Doors” album. The last song “Oh No”, ties the album together and with its contemplative melody and lyrics such as, “If you believe in love/everything you see is love”. The album has a completes feel to it after it’s over, and with all the different sampling of Foxygen’s influences, the album is not only diverse and truly eclectic, it shows just how well versed the two band members are.