Sunday, May 11, 2014

Glorious | Foxes


I have been patiently waiting for months for English singer-songwriter Foxes (born Louisa Rose Allen) to release her debut album, and the time has finally come to hear what kind of musical punch she packs with her very first full length album. Glorious has had plenty of buzz surrounding its arrival and I'm happy to have a signed, deluxe edition in my hands.

Glorious opens on a blossoming, beautiful, mysterious note with "Talking to Ghosts." Using some Chinese-style patterns in the chorus and dark, deep chords elsewhere, the song makes such a promising leap already for the album, and we're only one track in.

After "Clarity" spread like wildfire, Foxes' official lead single was strategically dropped in the United Kingdom: "Youth." It made sparks here in the United States, but didn't take off enough to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is a driving synthpop piece of gold with lyrics over growing old. In the video, Foxes stays forever young as she dons Mickey Mouse ears and sings, "Now I'm just chasing time / With a thousand dreams I'm holding heavy / And as we cross the line these fading beats have all been severed / Don't tell me our youth is running out / It's only just begun."

Following "Youth" in the track listing is "Holding onto Heaven," which was released as the album's third official single last month. A demo of the song appeared online much earlier than that, though. A twinkly chime runs faintly through the cutesy little song about keeping a relationship intact and pretending there are no problems between the couple. The next track, "White Coats," is another early Foxes track it holds a darker yet still upbeat sound. In this song, Foxes compares her love to a mental illness as she sings, "And if the men in white coats are coming / I know you’ll still be there for me / to chase down the wolves around us."

The first solo single I heard from Foxes was "Let Go For Tonight," and it almost instantly made me a fan. Everything about this song just screams happiness, from the carefree lyrics to the pounding instrumental to the messy, colorful video. In a quick, rapid-fire explanation of the song's meaning, Foxes laughed and said, "'Let Go For Tonight' is about forgetting about your worries and yesterday, and trying to live for now... and having lots of fights with cake and stuff." It's such a pick-me-up that it's unbelievable; I could listen actually have listened to it on repeat for a few hours straight.

Following along in the track listing, the echoed, somber "Night Glo" finds a vulnerable Foxes belting over a growing instrumental track. It's a nice little mid-album ballad. Continuing the nighttime antics, "Night Owls Early Birds" covers one night too many out on the town and borrows some elements from the old times of disco to create a driving dance track.

"Glorious," the track that was influential enough to set its namesake on the whole album, is the perfect combination of the electronic elements that boosted her to stardom and her unique indie pop sound. The verses rely on that drum-filled indie sound while the chorus adds a deep, booming synth line. The title track flows into "Echo," which reminds me of some very light Florence + The Machine injected with some light electropop elements behind it.

The standard pressing of Glorious closes with "Shaking Heads" and "Count the Saints." The former track is power ballad of sorts, while "Count the Saints" leaves listeners on a quiet, mysterious note. It's an ambient track that matures with time, adding layers of strings and drums throughout. For those with the deluxe copy of the album, it continues with a live version of "Clarity." In a piano and vocal format, "Clarity" is even more heartfelt. As in all of her live performance, Foxes' vocals are rock solid and could literally be studio ready.

Disco finds its way back onto Glorious while it is infused in "Beauty Queen," a powerful contemporary pop track on superficial feelings and feeling picture perfect: "Oh, beauty queen / It's only skin deep / It's only thin sheets / There's no audience." The twinkly, jewelry box-jingle of "Holding onto Heaven" is referenced again in "Home," a relatively early track from Foxes that I'm surprised was able to resurface on the album.

"In Her Arms" is another toned-down Florence Welch track, but could also pass off as a perfected version of something out of an off-Broadway performance of Stomp. When compared to the standard version's cut-off at "Count the Saints," the deluxe edition's finale, "The Unknown," brings a bit of a more appropriate ending. In the closing, we once again get disco and dance influences, especially in the chorus.

Foxes truly has found a cozy little niche to base her sound in; it's a combination of genres and sounds that I've never really heard before. She's talented, she's cute, and she's going to be around for a long time: this album is a prime example of those exact things. It truly is Glorious.

Glorious is out now in the United Kingdom via Sony Music Entertainment. For United States fans, I highly suggest importing the album from online retailers such as it's worth it. You can watch Foxes' rapid-fire track-by-track explanation video of the album below.

1 comment

  1. Such a great review of the album! And I knew that the lyrics and songs could be compared to Florence + The Machine. For me this record deserves 4.5 stars, just because should have included Warrior as a Bonus Track, but the every song in it is really awesome!!!

    Thanks for the review.


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