Album Review – Foxes, “Glorious”

foxes-gloriousIt has been far too long since I did an album review. Or maybe not, most readers find themselves more attracted to hordes of wasps than reading a long wall of text. But fear not, I will keep the song descriptions brief. Actually, I probably won’t, or else I would not open every album review with “This will be shorter than usual.”

With that all said, let’s dive into Foxes’ debut album Glorious and break down why I enjoyed it as much as I did:

1. “Talking To Ghosts” – The album kicks off with “Talking To Ghosts”, which immediately sets a soulful but up-pace tone to the album. The rhythm is peculiar, but the sound is intriguing and keeps the listener’s attention. The instrumental is complex, and a little overpowering, but the song stands out and makes the next song worth tuning into. The lyrics become a bit less reflective by the end of the song, but the sound remains containing that attention-drawing complexity throughout the whole track.

8/10

2. “Youth” – “Youth” may be arguably Foxes’ most popular solo song (Afterall, nothing will ever reach the success that “Clarity” did). While the rhythm becomes easier to catch up with, the chorus comes and go rather fast. It takes the second round, at around one and a half minutes in, until the song’s anatomy makes more sense. Production does go a bit overboard with echoing, autotune, and forced voice-cracks until the bridge (which is just the chorus replayed again, but with less instrumentals). The conclusion of the song, however, features a climax of the beat and just the right amount of echo on the vocals of Foxes. That last third of the song makes the whole listen worth it for me.

6.75/10

3. “Holding Onto Heaven” –  At this point, I began to really enjoy the album. “Holding Onto Heaven” feels like the right balance of complexity but mindless Pop that Foxes is clearly attempting at. While she will hit it again in a few more songs (Hint hint at my favorite), “Holding Onto Heaven” is a great way to keep the listener saying “Well, let’s just see how this pans out.” The vocals do feature a bit of cosmetic work done over them, but the final product turns out better than the first two songs.

8.75/10

4. “White Coats” – “White Coats” goes back to the original pace that the album set, but does a much better job of carrying the mysterious aura of the sound of Glorious. I find “White Coats” the perfect “album” song, in that you enjoy it when you are listening to the album in full, but as an individual single it just feels out of place. The way it is placed in the album is perfect, and that gives the song a big extra couple of points. The chorus is noticeable, but still contains that lyrical complexity that peaked your interest in the last few songs. If you enjoy the raw sound of the chorus, you should find the bridge quite nice as well. The song

8.25/10

5. “Let Go For Tonight” – This song immediately represents a fast shift in the song’s tone, and while it may serve as a catchy individual piece, it just feels off with the album’s design. I admire the change and diversity, though the jump feels obnoxiously fast. It features less complexity, and more of an upbeat and happy-go-lucky Pop feel. While “Holding Onto Heaven” did well balancing the two, “Let Go For Tonight” feels unnecessarily repetitive and off balance from the original sound the album does well in keeping through the rest of the album.

6.25/10

6. “Night Glo” – And we find ourselves back to the original feel of the album, but the quick transition back makes “Night Glo” almost a tad boring. You might miss the chorus because there is virtually no change in pace until about half way into the song, and even that progresses slower than the American government system (shots fired). You may not notice this song play, but if you do you might see that it is actually a calming melody. Placing on the tracklist ruins it more than anything.

7.25/10

7. “Night Owls Early Birds” – I found this song featuring a solid balance (Not an artist, but a dope ass name for a band), similar to “Holding Onto Heaven”, but it seems production hit it and quit it on “Holding Onto Heaven” and left a bit to be done on the vocals. The raw sound feels dominated by the upbeat instrumental, but I can still admit the song is catchy. Still does not do the balance as well as some of its other siblings in Glorious, and feels like the first real “skippable” track on the album. Though that might be because of how abruptly it ends (It went to the next song and took me by surprise, but a very pleasant one. Hint hint #2).

5.75/10

8. “Glorious” – The title track of Glorious comes on the eighth piece, but boy is it worth the wait. Before I go into this, I will admit this is not the perfect song; However, it comes damn close. The lyrics, tone, and rhythm sum up the album perfect, making this song serve as the perfect title track. The chorus drops some of the lyrical complexity, but production and vocals do their part to make the whole work great. The bridge starts out slow but transitions into a chanting chorus that just caps the song off perfectly. This has to be my favorite song on the album, and while it may not appeal to everyone’s tastes (much like the artistry of Foxes), it is definitely a fine piece of music.

9.75/10

9. “Echo” – I actually like “Echo” quite a bit too, but it simply cannot compare to its predecessor. The rhythm is still unique and the tone of the vocals and lyrics are just mesmerizing. The chorus is long, but barely repetitive. The song represents the sound of Foxes quite well, though it does try a bit too hard to be like the title track by the end. Still a great song and one of my favorites on the album. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

9.25/10

10. “Shaking Heads” – Is dangerous and not recommended for children under 3 years old. That probably was not a good joke, so we’ll just move on. This song is decent, though the chorus cuts off rather abruptly. “Shaking Heads” does fail at following up “Glorious” and “Echo”, but does do well in conveying that the album is beginning to come to a close. I enjoy the song, but does disappoint after the last two.

6.75/10

11. “Count The Saints” – I did not know what to expect from the final song on the album, but I knew it would have a tremendous role in the score of the album as a whole. As it opens, I notice a similar rhythm to “Glorious” on the piano. The complex and ominous feel to “Count The Saints” as it progresses does a great job of summing up the sound of the album and end the album with a reflective tone. The vocals echo more and more and the song concludes with a great surge of sound before it mellows out and fades out through one last chorus and soft piano. “Count The Saints” is definitely one of the better tracks and ends the album very well.

8.75/10

So overall, the album averages out to about:

7.75/10

While Glorious can almost reach for 4 stars, the album just does not find its way up. It is a great change to Pop and has a unique feel that makes the album as a whole seriously worth a listen, but it contains a couple of highlights and otherwise filler songs. Had it been cut down to an EP and featured the songs that scored above 7.5, it would have gotten a better score. Just beware of songs that you kinda hope are under four minutes due to either not feeling enjoyable or just sheer boring. Most of these are not exactly “sing loud in the shower” types.

I did enjoy the album and loved a few songs on here, and will be keeping an eye on music by Foxes in the future. In the meantime, you can check out the album below (Yay, I got it done! So much for keeping it short):

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Music Recommendation – Single – Meek Mill ft. Big Sean and A$AP Ferg, “B Boy”

b-boy-rappersBehold, the rule-defying song that happens to be the second Big Sean-featuring track I have written about within a week. I will try to prevent that from happening again, but to be fair, this will probably be the best effort Big Sean will put into a song. While all three of these artists go in, Sean proves why he is finally famous with his jaw-dropping verse.

Meek Mill provides a good start to the song and keeps it interesting, but Big Sean starts out average (as per usual) and words pour out like sweet lyrical honey. Being honest though, I believe that line with the commas was a bit of a run-on sentence. A$AP Ferg ends the song with a verse that will make you go “Hey, I should actually hear more from this guy.”

There is no real chorus, but that does not mess up the song’s quality much. Ferg is a bit difficult to understand, and Meek Mill doesn’t exactly speak with the clarity of a Zedd/Foxes collaboration, but I digress. The song is a sick Hip-Hop track with artists who perform quite well for their reputations.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9/10

You can check out the song and its newly-released music video below:

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