Released: Apr 13, 2010
Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock
Label: Sire Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
The melodramatic delivery of vocalist Eric Sean Nally is an acquired taste, but Foxy Shazam cannot be accused of being unoriginal.
UG Team, on may 12, 2010 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Foxy Shazam is the ultimate acquired taste, and this reviewer is not quite ready to indulge in large doses of the Cincinnati, Ohio, band. While it's true that there are few if any rock acts out there resembling Foxy Shazam's sound, the sextet at times is so over-the-top with their arrangements (specifically vocals) that it's hard to take everything completely seriously. With the band's third studio release, a self-titled album on the Sire Records label, Foxy Shazam provides a uninhibited, detailed glimpse at who they are as musicians, and although not always palatable, is at least distinct from the hordes of other groups today.
The focal point of every song is undeniably vocalist Eric Sean Nally, who combines a high-pitched, spastic vibrato with the charisma of a musical theater performer. Again, he's entirely unique and you certainly won't find many carbon copies of Nally. The problem is that his presence is so grandiose and over-the-top that it takes over most of the instrumentation. An immediate impression is made in the first few seconds of the CD, with the sound of moaning/barking dogs and Nally declaring, There are sure a lot of dogs out this eveningPerhaps they can assist me. Interestingly enough, that bit of dialogue pales in comparison to anything Nally sings in terms of sheer drama.
There is a pop-heavy influence to most of the 13 tracks on the self-title album, with many of them feeling like throwbacks to the golden era of rock and roll, the 1950's. Bye Bye Sympathy and Killin It certainly have the old school, piano-driven ballad feel to something you'd hear by many a Doo Wop group back in the day. Bombs Away is more up-tempo, but it also carries an old-fashioned feel that is backed by a polished horn section.
It wouldn't be surprising to learn that Nally and the gang are also big Rocky Horror Show fans because a lot of songs have that same type of style as, say, Hot Patootie. The track Teenage Demon Baby is a prime example, and for the most part Foxy Shazam does a successful job at bringing that stage-show feel to their music. Most of the tracks do feel extremely forced and comically uncomfortable, however. So if you're leery of musical theater, you may want to steer clear. // 6
Lyrics: Much like the musical foundation, Foxy Shazam's lyrics don't shy away from melodramatic themes. The best example arrives in the band's first single Wanna Be Angel, which includes such lines as, I want my friends to think I'm awesome; Awesome, awesome, yeah! I want this world to think I care; I don't care at all! The topics and general lyrical content becomes a bit more creative in Only Way To My Heart (if you care to know, you will need an axe to get to cardiac area), but once again it's not for anyone who enjoys subtlety. // 6
Overall Impression: Foxy Shazam may be one of those acts that will eventually grow on you. Nally sings his heart out in every track and certainly doesn't sound like anybody else out there, but that's not always a good thing at least in this case. In concert the entire package may go over extremely well, but Foxy Shazam's sound just comes across as a bit too overproduced (and exhausting) in the traditional CD format. // 6
Paul*Stanley, on january 09, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: With Michael Jackson dead, there is room for a new King of Pop, and Eric Sean Nally is it. Foxy Shazam is a six-piece outfit with Nally at the center of it all, and every aspect of it works. They play some really soaring tunes that are reminiscent of Queen, but with a modern twist. While an acquired taste, this is an incredibly satisfying disc once you get into it.
01. "Bombs Away" - This intro track does a good job of raising the curtain on the album, especially to new listeners, since it shows that the band has some serious attitude in addition to some serious talent.
02. "Wanna-Be Angel" - A great keyboard piece in this song compliments Nally's "I don't give a f--k what you think" vocal hook. Phenomenal track.
03. "Count Me Out" - One of my favorite tracks on the album. It has a killer riff and a great solo, but also has a really uplifting vocal piece. It is impossible not to forget your troubles while jamming out to this song.
04. "Bye Bye Symphony" - A funny chorus ("Life is a b-tch... But she's totally do-able.") is the star of this song, but it's one of the lesser tracks on the album.
05. "Unstoppable" - While listening to this song, you can knock out Mike Tyson, out-drive Tiger Woods and bang any woman within fifty miles. Sweet guitar and a great music video too.
06. "Second Floor" - A bit of a downbeat, less exciting song. It's still passable, though.
07. "Oh Lord" - Possibly the greatest piece of music put together since Mozart. This is Foxy's most soaring, bada-s and fun songs. The vocals are great, especially the chorus, which has an awesome message, great guitar and some cool piano. Best song on the album.
08. "Connect" - An odd song that's kind of gospel-influenced. Not my favorite.
09. "Only Way To My Heart" - A funny chorus, but that's about it.
10. "Killin' It" - The third song in a row that's just "okay".
11. "Evil Thoughts" - A great song to end the album with. It's a more minimalist song than their other stuff, and is a fun listen.
12. "Teenage Demon Baby" - Why this is only an iTunes bonus track I have no idea. It's got a great chorus that's really fun to sing along to.
13. "Some Kind Of Love" - Another bonus track good enough to be a single. // 9
Lyrics: While the drums on this album are fun, the guitar has some sweet solos and the piano is never boring, it's the vocals that are the true star. Eric Sean Nally is one of the most talented singers that I've ever heard. He's got a great range and can scream like a motherf--ker in addition to holding a tune really well. He doesn't like to be compared to Freddie Mercury, but there's really nobody else you can compare him to. He's absolutely one of the best singers in rock and roll today. // 10
Overall Impression: There is nobody out there quite like Foxy Shazam. They may be a pop band, but they've got a punk rock attitude that could teach the hardest rocking band a thing or two. They're strange to look at, interesting to watch and incredibly fun to listen to. They have some great vocal hooks and put a lot of focus on their talented frontman, Eric Nally, without forgetting their guitar player's punch, their unique trumpet playing, and their piano player's skill.
A couple of "alright" tracks holds back the album from being a true masterpiece, but it gets damn well close. "Count Me Out", "Unstoppable", "Oh Lord", and "Teenage Demon Baby" are all worth a listen, and in my opinion, worth a hundred plays in iTunes. Foxy Shazam is one of the few bands that can lift you up out of a deep hole and make you want to punch people in the face at the same time. // 9