Monday, June 12, 2017

Now That's What I Call A Lemon Twigs Record!

If you were one of the many who were impressed with the Lemon Twigs late-night TV appearances from a few months ago, but then ultimately disappointed with their debut LP, may I suggest the new record from Foxygen, "Hang," released back in January of this year.

"Hang" is the fourth release from this wacky duo, but the first that seems, at least to my ears, to offer a bit of coherence. My issue with the Lemon Twigs debut, and this is still what I am feeling after a few more passes, one as recently as this weekend, is that it tries way too hard to be too many things. A dozen or so brilliant ideas, but none hitting the nail square. In other words, no songs. On "Hang," which features a 42 piece orchestra, as well as...uh...The Lemon Twigs...the theme is obviously 70's radio, and by the fourth track, you know Foxygen had this all planned from the get-go. This record does not feel like 8 songs that stuck after tossing 24 against a wall. There are 8 songs and all feel like songs, even if at times, they feel like other people's songs.

The opener, "Follow The Leader" could have been on any one of your 70's blockbusters from Steely Dan or Supertramp. "Avalon" is Randy Newman meets Abba, "Waterloo" specifically. Both "America" and "Upon A Hill" could have fit on either of Bowie's "Hunky Dory" or "Aladdin Sane," or even one of Scott Walker's less intense outings. "Hang" remains quirky enough to give it just enough cool to not feel like parody. I'm digging this. It is what I was hoping The Lemon Twigs would sound like.


Anonymous said...

Follower the Leader is on the verge of breaking into Bennie & the Jets

buzzbabyjesus said...

"It is what I was hoping The Lemon Twigs would sound like."
-apparently me, too.

In first few seconds I thought "Follow The Leader" was going to turn into "I Saw The Light".

Shriner said...

I liked it! I'll have to track down the album

steves said...

Right after the opening "I Saw the Light" riff, it goes into a direct lift from some 70's song, the name of which I wish I could remember (though I'm still coming up empty), and, actually, if I'm recalling it right, is echoed throughout the entire song.

Nevertheless, I like the song and the production just fine, but I always believed this sort of heavily derivative music was one of your major pet peeves, Sal. I guess I feel the way you do about the Lemon Twigs album, but at least it sounds far more original to my ears

Sal Nunziato said...

"but I always believed this sort of heavily derivative music was one of your major pet peeves, Sal."

I know I've expressed my distaste for retro-soul acts like Leon Bridges and Nathaniel Rateliff and St.Paul & The Broken Bones. I simply thought it was more style over substance. Same deal with The Lemon Twigs record. Live they knocked me out and I think the next record might be something else. These kids have got something. But I sing the same song, which is, there isn't any. I don't mind bands being derivative at all, if there is something to sink your teeth into. I think Foxygen has that.

My pet peeve is hype. Foxygen is really good, not the second coming.

Anonymous said...

In the start of 'Follow The Leader' I heard ELO's early 70s poppier hits, maybe 'Evil Woman' and 'Strange Magic'.
In case you haven't heard it, Pooh Sticks' 'Great White Wonder' is chock full o' catchy 70s-inspired music.
C in California

cmealha said...

Well, I know what I'm listening to tomorrow. Love the first cut a lot. I understand the criticism of the Lemon Twigs but I enjoy them all the same.

cmealha said...

Just finished listening. Wow! I need a cigarette. Not the kind of production one usually expects from an indie outfit. Loving it at first listen. Will be spinning it a few more times. There's so much to digest.

A walk in the woods said...

I dig it!! Thanks for pointing this one out... Foxygen had never interested me before. I'll get this one.