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LISTEN: ‘Avalon’

5/10 Un­der­whelm­ing

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.


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