We Are The 21St Century Ambassadors CD (2013)

Artist: Foxygen

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Product Overview


Label Jagjaguwar/ada
SKU 246303678
UPC 656605222721
UPC 14 00656605222721
Format CD
Release Date 1/22/2013
Author Foxygen
Artist Influence Pink Floyd
Artist Influence The Rolling Stones
Artist Contemporary Axxa/Abraxas
Artist Contemporary Boogarins
Artist Contemporary Donovan Blanc
Artist Contemporary Dub Thompson
Artist Contemporary Kuroma
Artist Contemporary Maston (Indie Pop)
Artist Contemporary Michael Rault
Artist Contemporary Morgan Delt
Artist Contemporary Sic Alps
Artist Contemporary Syd Barrett
Artist Contemporary Vows (Indie Pop)
Artist Contemporary White Fence
Artist Contemporary Wildest Dreams
Artist Contemporary Woods
Artist Contemporary Wunder Wunder
Technical Info
Producer Richard Swift
CatalogID JAG 227CD
Lable Name Jagjaguwar
Released 01/21/2013
Original Release 2013
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 36m : 46s
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00656605222721
Musical Guests
Jessie Baylin
Sarah Versprille
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Luke Suzumoto (hand claps).
Audio Mixer: Richard Swift.
Photographer: Angel Ceballos.
With their album-length 2012 EP Take the Kids Off Broadway, backwards-looking concept rockers Foxygen arrived with so many classic rock reference points you could have made a bingo card out of the various nods to various heroes contained in their still somehow undeniably hooky songs. Proper full-length We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic is even more stuffed full of familiar sound cues and convincing '60s and '70s pop star mimicry, this time with heightened production from Richard Swift taking the album out of the lo-fi realm, and more personal lyrics adding some character to the artifice. Picking apart the blatant, intentional references to different classic songs that cycle verse-to-verse throughout the album is a fun game for record collector types; from the nod to the intro of Sgt. Pepper's on album-opener "In the Darkness" to the bold-faced Dylanisms (and less overt but equally strong Al Stewart-isms) of the incredible, big city lament "No Destruction." Bowie, Lou Reed, all eras of Mick Jagger, specific doo wop songs, and even moments of the Band; no oldies are safe from Foxygen's pure-hearted appropriation. Their reconstructive surgery of various influences is an interesting approach for a band made up of kids in their early twenties circa 2013, but it isn't the entire formula for what makes this record so great. Lots of bands before Foxygen have dealt with quick changes and sonic patchworks of older influences, but few have managed to craft songs as moving and catchy as these. The thick accents and psychedelic swirl of "San Francisco" walk the line of being patronizingly nostalgic until the hook-heavy chorus comes in, distant guest vocals from Jessie Baylin and Sarah Versprille answering singer Sam France's "I left my love in San Francisco" with refrains of "That's okay, I was bored anyway" and "That's okay, I was born in L.A." This one move disarms any cloying elements of the song and reminds the listener that Foxygen are in complete songwriting control, not just throwing back-dated pop culture references at the wall and hoping something sticks. In their earliest days, Of Montreal had a similar knack for updating their favorite records with their own personalities, as did many artists of the Elephant 6 collective, but WAT21CAOPAM is more tuned in, clear-headed, and full of intent than any of Foxygen's more immediate predecessors. It's a gorgeous and non-stop convergence of ideas, some borrowed, some original, some refurbished, and some outright stolen. In the end, however, the album's coherence comes in its incredible architecture of all these ideas, and the way the band sells them with everything they've got, taking what could be incredibly obtuse music back into the realm of pop from which it was born. ~ Fred Thomas
Artist Overview
Foxygen is the bicoastal classic rock-leaning experimental pop project of multi-instrumentalists Sam France and Jonathan Rado. Apart from sharing a voracious love of classic albums from the Ramones to Led Zeppelin, the pair worked on about ten home-recorded, self-distributed albums in their high-school days, eventually parting ways when it was time to go off to college. France went west to Olympia and Rado to New York, and they both played in other bands, feeling mostly unsatisfied with their new projects. France made a brief trek out to the East Coast in 2011 and Foxygen constructed the schizophrenic and Stones-steeped album Take the Kids Off Broadway. The album saw release in the summer of 2012 on mega indie label Jagjaguwar. ~ Fred Thomas
Professional Reviews
CMJ - "Foxygen has a reverence for the past, but it's the band's awareness of the present that makes its sound stand alone."
Paste (magazine) - "The best songs on 21st Century are the ones that dig into the grimier and sassier side of early-'70s glam. Big choruses almost pop out of nowhere on 'Shuggie' and 'Oh Yeah'..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[R]ifling with effortless cool through retro-rock quotes and mannerisms..."
Disc 1
1 In The Darkness
2 No Destruction
3 On Blue Mountain
4 San Francisco - (featuring Sarah Versprille)
5 Bowling Trophies
6 Shuggie
7 Oh Yeah
8 We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
9 Oh No 2
Product Attributes
Artist Foxygen
Music Format Compact Disc

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