Review Summary: Flashy, fun and flamboyant soul/pop that is nearly impossible to say no to.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
For several years now the Cincinnati group, Foxy Shazam, have been crafting some interesting and unique works of art. Delving into a multitude of genres, they have made a name for themselves by seamlessly melding together Hardcore Punk, Soul, and Piano Rock in a cohesive fashion while still maintaining a great deal of pop sensibility. Based on a pattern from their last two albums, their third release seems to be moving in a more poppy direction. The Flamingo Trigger was a complete freak show of frantic screams and dissonances with and underlying theme of soul/pop; a flavor enhanced when brought to the forefront of their follow-up, 2008’s Introducing. Now it’s 2010, a new Foxy album is in the works, and anticipation is eating away at the fans who are trying to solve of just what the self-title would bring. The result is a new/different, but certainly not unwelcome, take on Foxy Shazam. To put it simply, don’t listen to this album looking for the wackiness of No! Don’t Shoot or the brutal ending in Ghost Animals. Foxy have gone full blown, unadulterated pop. With that said, some die hard veteran Foxy Shazam fans might shed a tear and put The Flamingo Trigger on repeat for a few weeks, but rest assured, there really is no reason for that as this album is a fantastically constructed pop album with catchy hooks aplenty.
The obvious main attraction to this carnival of an album is the lead singer Eric Sean Nally. He really gives this album its vibe with his impressive range and flashy delivery akin to the likes of Freddy Mercury. With his pipes, however, this flashiness is certainly warranted as it only adds to the huge production that is Foxy Shazam’s self titled album. Songs like “Oh Lord” can certainly attest to this. Containing one of the catchiest choruses ever this song really epitomizes what the album is all about
: accessibility, pure fun, and overly flamboyant soul. However, do not translate that into flowery, happy-go-lucky song writing. Possibly the best song on here, “Only Way To My Heart,” is a sassy jazz tune with a cynical delivery that culminates with the most “brutal” part of the album.
In addition to his vocals, Eric Sean Nally’s lyrics are noteworthy for the simple fact that they truly are clichéd, pointless nothings - which is in no way a pitfall. There’s nothing serious about them, no deep meanings, just care free, easy-to-go-down lyrics that are there to do nothing more than bring a smile to your face. With lines like “I want my friends to think I’m so punk rock, so punk rock and roll. And all you hipsters say I’m gay, but I’m not gay at all” and “When I get back home I find the door is locked, pretend I’m a G.I. Joe and sneak around the house” it really is difficult – at the very least – to not crack a smile, no matter how hardcore you claim to be.
With Nally’s showy and soaring vocals backed by some dazzling piano lines, a feel-good guitar lick here and there and the addition of a more that apt trumpet player, Foxy Shazam have successfully made an album full of hard hitting, straightforward and (can’t stress this enough) fun pop tunes. It really all boils down to one thing: accessibility. Yes, this album can be enjoyed in just about any situation. Whether you’re having a good day and want to keep that feeling going, or you’re have a not so good one, Foxy Shazam can now always remind you that life is a bitch, but she’s totally doable.
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