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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Track-by-Track: Foxy Shazam

Perched somewhere between Queen, Meat Loaf, the Ark and the Darkness, Cincinatti's outrageous Foxy Shazam may have just released the best album of the year so far. By going poppier with their sound this time around, they've uncovered a gift for melody that suits the searing vocals perfectly. It's easy to get lost in huge production like this, but thankfully the songs are there. Amazing songs. Anthems.

1. Intro/Bombs Away - One of the strangest opening lines ever (There sure are a lot of dogs out there this evening. Perhaps they could assist me... in a song!) lets you know exactly what kind of bizarre album you're in for, then launches into a blistering opener assisted by Eric's powerful, wailing vocals. You're either gonna love it or hate it. I love it. 10/10

2. Wanna-be Angel - Mixing the orchestral pomp of Sparks with the fury of Freddie Mercury's vocals, this is the first "hit" of the album. Totally over the top, totally catchy. The cheeky verses are the best. 10/10

3. Count Me Out - Of all the songs, the chorus of this one reminds me most of the Darkness (in the best of ways). It's definitely a strong, fiery chorus... one of the strongest on the album. It continues the perfect stream of songs that open the album 10/10

4. Bye Bye Symphony - Slowing things down a bit, though it becomes pretty aggressive towards the end. I love the lyrics here and especially Eric's oh-so-serious delivery of them. Very soulful, too. Like everything on the album, it's on a grand scale. 10/10

5. Unstoppable - This sounds like a lost glam hit from the 70's. It's got that "We Are The Champions" vibe to it, though it's a massive uptempo number. Suitable for stadiums, for sure. The chorus hits the stratosphere. Few people could hit notes like this. 10/10

6. Second Floor - Another total anthem with a sky-high chorus. I just can't get over the vocals. It's practically inhuman. The lyrics are nice here, too, and seem to reinforce what the band's all about. All about wanting to exist outside of needless record label control. 10/10

7. Oh Lord - My favorite track on the album, and the first one I heard. In fact, it may be the best song I've heard all year. It's huge, majestic, epic... what other words can I use? Perfection. 10/10

8. Connect - A poppier track with an excellent gospel-infused chorus. Gospel and beat-boxing shouldn't mix so well, but the band's natural swagger makes it work. 10/10

9. The Only Way To My Heart... - The only song where the band succumb to artiness at the expense of melody. It just doesn't compare to the other tracks. That being said, the other tracks are very strong. Easily the weakest link, though, and preferably replaced by one of the bonus tracks. 7/10

10. Killin' It - And we're back to brilliance. The chorus is huge, the verses are great, and I love the background whispers. 9/10

11. Evil Thoughts - The one true ballad of the album, and a very soulful one at that. I think the band have even better ballads in them in the future, but this is still quite nice and a great closer to a brilliant album. 9/10

Album Grade: 9.5/10

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14 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

it's essentially very good indeed isn't it? Hurrah. I'm going to put it on again right now and have a chocolate biscuit...

5:46 AM  
Blogger DanProject76 said...

Excellent review!

It's just one of THOSE albums, isn't it?

Blame me for getting Mr Paul Fizzypop into it. Shame their first two albums are not to my taste at all, this one iss one of my favourite in ages.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Well thanks to the both of you, then! It seems that everyone that hears it becomes a fan :)

Have you guys heard the bonus tracks? They're just as good.

10:30 AM  
Blogger DanProject76 said...

Bonus tracks? Oh bloody hell!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome album, good review. I agree with everything except for your opinion on "The Only Way To My Heart"... It's probably my favorite and though it's a little different from the rest of the album I think it's just as catchy

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Love the album, though I definitely don't think it's better than "Introducing".

That said - "Only Way To My Heart" is the best song. Hands down. It destroys all the ballads. The only song that holds a flame to it is "Killin' It" which I also love.

I saw these guys twice on their current tour and they destroy the stage live every night. They're definitely going to blowup.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww foxy used to be so amazing now its sold out garbage this album stinks!!!too bad

12:33 PM  
Blogger Sailor Man said...

Hey anonymous ... go back to Cincinatti!

2:58 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Great review except every single song on the album is 10/10, this is destined to be an all time classic album. a great band live. all round pro dudes

5:38 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Personally, I HOPE that the band take the melodic, anthematic route again for the next album (and each after that). If they really want to go down as one of the best bands in history, as they've stated, then that's how to do it. A voice as amazing as Eric's is wasted on the type of material on their past albums.
I suppose it's just a matter of taste, but I prefer a memorable, classic melody that'll stand the test of time to a track that's more bluster and attitude.
I do think that "The Only Way To My Heart..." is the "pacify the old fans" track of the album. It just doesn't jibe well with the other songs. It's fine, but the rest of the album is CLASSIC.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I love the last album too. I can't find Flamingo Trigger anywhere except Russian Websites that no way will I give a credit card # too. Can anybody help me out on that?

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude this album deserves a ten!
Evil thought is the most amazing song! How can you give it a 9/10?! Same thing with Killin It .
Do not even get me started with The only way to my heart....
But overally this IS the best album of the year. That I indeed agree to.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have changed the band name for this one. I've seen this band live many times. I love to go see them but their new approach to song writing is no doubt geared towards females and the radio. Simply put, they are tired of starving for their art and have decided to go the.... mainstream route. This is a band that was beyond unique and catchy as hell. I use the word was because in my opinion this is not foxy shazam, it is a bastard child of them. I hope that eventually if I force feed it to myself enough that I will tolerate it but I would never mix any of these songs onto a mix tape with the old stuff. Sophomore albums are supposed to carry the jinx, not a third album.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I have been a Foxy Shazam! fan since i seen them in london ky years ago when the Flamingo Trigger just came out I loved that album i love Introducing and although this one is slightly there its still Foxy whether you agree to it or not i dont care. This is still the greatest live band EVER and some of the coolest guys in the world on top of that. They are going to be huge no matter how many Flamingo Huggers there are and you can bank on that baby.

2:10 AM  

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