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Foxygen
- We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic

This is an open, bright homage to old ideas.

Andrew McDonald

Jan 30th 2013 | Label: Jagjaguwar
Calling to mind Sgt Pepper's on your opening track is an audacious way to start your first proper release, but that is just what indie psych duo Foxygen do on We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic.

This is hardly the first comparison the band are comfortable making to themselves. The record plays like a virtual bingo card of classic rock, and that is where division over the album will become apparent. There's no arguing their skill in synthesising the sounds they clearly love (In The Darkness could almost fit on Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, likewise On Blue Mountain on The Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request) – but is this enough for you?

Occasionally, and to great result, the band do show their own skills off (like the weird modern funk grooves of Shuggie). It's just a little bit of a shame that the band are, perhaps, hesitant to be showcasing their own sound and hide behind so many colourful veils.

This is an open, bright homage to old ideas. Bowie, Dylan, Jagger, Lennon et al, all get referenced with misty-eyed nostalgia. What is miraculous, though, is that (on the whole) the record succeeds. Foxygen are hardly reinventing the wheel, but this record is far more focused and potent than comparable '60s-inspired efforts. Complaints of derision of lack of originality are inevitable and totally warranted, but if you let them, damned if this band won't show you what '60s pop rock could have achieved in a lost future.

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