Law and Order
Sep 10, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT
Foxygen's Jonathan Rado and Sam France have been on a manic creative tear. The band recorded and self-released several albums before the EP Take the Kids Off Broadway caught the attention of Jagjaguwar and Richard Swift in the latter half of 2011. Jagjaguwar reissued Take the Kids... in 2012, and a new full-length LP—We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic—followed just six months later. Now guitarist Rado has spun off to record this solo record, Law and Order, which sounds more like a Foxygen rarities and experiments collection than the weirdo, inhuman hit parade that we've come to expect after the duo's two recent releases.
It's not to say there aren't a few great tunes here. The gurgling, washed-out "Seven Horses" starts the album with plenty of promise, drawing from hard-to-place inspirations no doubt buried deep in Rado's Wiki-like musical knowledge base. It's followed by the Lee Hazlewood-y boy-girl country duet "Hand In Mine." Other highlights include the instrumental "Dance Away Your Ego" and the lo-fi synthpop ballad "Pot of Gold." The shrill soul number "Looking 4a Girl Like U" is where things start to derail, with Rado warbling indecipherably for what feels much longer than the song actually is; the ugly, distorted blast of nonsense "I Wanna Feel it Now!!!" comes off as similarly indulgent. These tracks—and a handful more—feel like rushed toss-offs and weigh down the record's more intriguing genre workouts. There is some gold in this wonky album, but you'll have to muscle through a lot of muck to find it. (www.woodsist.com)
Author rating: 4/10
Average reader rating: 4/10