Sound — 9
Foxy Shazam is a bombastic, unpredictable, and unrelenting group of individuals who never cease to surprise their ever increasing fan base. On the surface there is a fleeting presence of the unpredictability that die hard Foxy fans cherish, as with each album they shuffle further into a more accessible sound. Beyond this, Foxy's element of surprise remains by transcending genres and proving that there is no type of music they can't knock out of the park. They have proven with "The Church Of Rock And Roll" that the raw, passionate sound of the 70's is not out of their reach. This album is dynamic and captures elements of multiple classic genres from the jazzy and soulful to gritty classic rock. This album highlights three members in particular: Loren (Guitars), Aaron (Drums), and Eric (Vocals). Loren's presence in this album make up for all other albums by putting the spotlight on his beautiful, but sometimes hilarious (See "Too Late Baby") guitar solos. His tone is the best I have heard on any rock album in a long time. You can hear the gritty, yet somehow smooth tone you can only find in a London concert hall. Aaron has both confused and amazed me with the drumming on this album. His style for "The Church Of Rock And Roll" truly captures the essence of "less is more". When I first listened to the album all the way through, I was disappointed in his lack of flamboyant fills or dynamic use of cymbals and other beats. It wasn't until I really payed attention to his style that I appreciated the simplicity, because his drumming just about defines the overall feel of the album. He chooses to accent Sky's keyboard parts and groove with Daisy's bass line to bring through the primary emotion of each song.
Lyrics — 9
I will start by saying that Eric Nally is my favorite frontman of all time. I don't think I'm being biased when I say that he has the best range and power of any vocalist from his generation. His evolution from "The Flamingo Trigger" to "The Church Of Rock And Roll" is nothing short of graceful and amazing. I almost feel that the psychotic babbling and screaming from "The Flamingo Trigger" days have given him the incredible voice he has today. Needless to say, the lyrics of this album perfectly embody the 70's rock and roll sound Foxy was trying to achieve, but Nally has found a way to make the vocals quite unique. The lyrics involve patterns of young love and the roots of rock and roll with quirky and funny parts peppered throughout the album. My favorite examples include the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde quip in "Forever Together", the voice cracks at the end of the chorus in "The Streets", and the super high screeches in both "The Streets" and "Holy Touch". Eric has once again shown that he is the most dynamic and talented singer in the music scene today. I cannot wait to hear what borders he breaches next.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression of this album is welcoming of the new sound and hopeful for the future of Foxy Shazam. The upbeat, energetic songs make me want to dance and sing along over and over again. The seemingly "low" points of the album add character and dynamics to the overall feel of "The Church Of Rock And Roll". I listened to "Introducing" (my favorite album of theirs) after my 4th or 5th listen of the new one, and I was not disappointed in the juxtaposition. Foxy Shazam has made a graceful and positive change in their sound that will both attract new listeners and keep old fans at the edge of their seats. I am proud of these guys and cannot wait until their next release.