Recent and Retro Reviews: Foxy Shazam and They Might Be Giants prove worth a listen
Hello there, dear readers. I just have to say, I love music. I love talking about it, listening to it and sharing it. Luckily, writing reviews for the Echo knocks out two of these for me.
As I hope this could be a regular thing for me, I’ll start Recent and Retro Reviews off with a set of reviews of one recent and one retro album, both of which I love, from two genres I have always liked. Hopefully you’ll have never heard of at least one of these records: that way you will have found something new!
Shazam / Foxy Shazam
Released: April 2010
Genre: Glam Rock, Soul
Sounds like: Queen
Best song: “Killin’ It”
Next Soccer hooligan
theme song: “Unstoppable”
Your next Facebook status
quote will come from: “Bye
Foxy Shazam’s self titled album seemed to fly under the radar this past year, which has been really unfortunate. I picked it up a few months ago at the humble request of the Internet, and it absolutely blew me away on all fronts.
From the explosive introduction of “Bombs Away” to the beat-boxing gospel track of “Connect,” this show delivers. I dare you not to sing along to “Killin’ It” or to “Unstoppable,” which while it may not replace “We Will Rock You,” it certainly has the strength to stand by it, with an awesome gang chorus reminiscent of the popular “Ole! Ole ole ole!” chant of soccer games.
This albums does a wonderful job of making you feel a wide variety of emotions, bring you up and down on a rollercoaster, never letting you linger on the sad parts, making the uplifting songs even better. It finishes with the beautiful “Evil Thoughts.” Foxy Shazam is easily one of the best albums of the past year: the number of times I have played it in my car can attest to that.
FINAL VERDICT: 5 STARS
Artist/Album: They Might
Be Giants / Flood
Released: January 1990
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds like: Cake
Best song: “Dead”
Don’t lie, you love:
If you’ve been to Fenway,
you’ve heard: “Birdhouse
in your Soul”
Whether in the Tiny Toons Adventures cartoons or “Homestar Runner” music videos, you’ve definitely heard They Might Be Giants (TMBG) somewhere before. I would consider this album a strong example of the wide variety of styles of music that TMBG can play, from the somber dirge of “Dead” to the empowering “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” all kicked off by a musical choir.
Flood is definitely a fun album, but it is not without its faults. The later tracks get quite a bit weaker, and they can only be really enjoyed when the album is listened to in one sitting.
It’s all a rather silly affair, which I find works great when doing homework. Even in the second half’s weakness, the songs shorten to an appropriate length before their individual absurdity begins to get tiring.
The two penultimate tracks are tons of fun, fully embracing their silliness before cutting back to a serious, haunting ending with “Road Movie to Berlin.”
I don’t think everyone will like this album on first listening, but it grows on you. One day, you will be listening to it without any thought at all, and suddenly realize its thorough awesomeness.
FINAL VERDICT: 4.5 STARS