effort from US indie-pop duo There has been a considerable buzz around Hang, the third album from Californian indie duo Jonathan
Rado and Sam France, aka Foxygen. Colour me mystified. Though capable songwriters, Rado and France have a fatal weakness for soft rock that too often crosses the line from mellow to dreary.
Elaborately constructed baroque pop numbers like ‘Follow The Leader’ and ‘Mrs Adams’ may have impressive arrangements, but are chronically bereft of melodic flair. In addition, France’s apparent aping of Mick Jagger’s vocal style proves highly distracting. Elsewhere, the record proves similarly underwhelming, whether it be the wannabe Christmas classic ‘America’, the Queen-like ‘Avalon’ or the orchestral waltz ‘Trauma’.
Indeed, by the time ‘Rise Up’ rolls around, the song’s key line (“You’ve got to pull yourself up from the fires of hell”) sounds less like a message of defiance than a hollow greeting card slogan. Disappointing, to say the least.
OUT NOW / PAUL NOLAN