A bit of grandiose is always welcome in music. Hell, feel free to go all out. Make your song feel like an opera. Don't make your song feel like it's trying to hard, though. That's the problem in Foxygen's new album Hang - it's all overboard.
Foxygen are an indie rock band who have an old-fashioned sound. Hang is their fifth album, so they do have their established elements going for them. The album gets off to an exciting start with 'Follow The Leader,' a grand song with big orchestras. The intro is big and confident, but by the end of the song it becomes a bit much. That's where a lot of this album falls in line - confident starts leading to endings that are overboard.
By saying overboard, it's not in the sense that they went to far. It's the sense that they did way too much to achieve the sound. It's chaotic in a realm that requires uniformity. It's alright to change the zeitgeist of something, but not after establishing a song to be level and uniform. Devolving into chaos has to be plotted out, ironically, and Foxygen attempt to do it again and again without success on Hang.
Another point about the record is that it doesn't have any modern touch on it in some places. 'Avalon' sounds it came straight out of an 80s surf rock movie, while 'America' sounds outdated and annoying. The old-fashioned vibe works only so well and for so long. Unless you're catering to the specific group of people who listened to this music growing up, there isn't much of an audience you're appealing to. There's no indie influence on some tracks, and I'm stuck here feeling like I'm watching a bad surfer movie well past midnight.
Hang is a crossroads of failed ideas. There are so many opportunities that could be cleaned up or reimagined to provide a much agreeable and confined sound. That's definitely what this album requires, and Foxygen just couldn't find that right balance anywhere on it.
Favorite Track: Rise Up
Least Favorite Tracks: Avalon, Mrs. Adams, America
Rating: 60 / 100
Buy or listen to Hang here: