Foxes: breaking into the better side of pop music

 

I like indie pop.  It’s cool, often innovative, and makes pop music seem like less of a guilty pleasure.  The indie variety is full of unexpected element and creativity, lending some integrity to the ever-so-common pop music realm.

Naturally, when I saw that the indie pop artist Foxes was releasing a new album, I felt a degree of anticipation.  While her 2014 album Glorious went relatively unrecognized, a few tracks from her repertoire received their deserving merit.  Most notably, Adventure Club’s remix of “Youth” added the right amount of extra bass and synth to the dreamy vocals of Louisa Rose Allen, the British singer who performs under the stage name Foxes.

All I Need, which dropped on February 12, is certainly an improvement from Foxes’ first album.  She has a deep, full voice comparable to that of Ellie Goulding, another Brit, and with her new work she could be on track to eventually receive similar recognition.

That said, she still has some work to do before reaching pop-powerhouse status.  The album features some creative and unexpected sounds, but is not fully committed to the indie pop genre, as a few of the tracks are somewhat underwhelming and rather mundane.

The album’s title track appears as the ringleader in the string of banal pop songs, for the sole reason that it has not an ounce of anything special.  The lukewarm verses give way to a chorus that is rather unfortunate in its lack of bravado, repeating a single phrase in an underwhelming range of vocals.

However, Foxes’ talent is not to be discounted. After hearing “All I Need” and a few other tracks of its kind from the album, I was pleasantly surprised by “Cruel.”  A sugarcoated, dance-pop accompaniment gives the song just enough alternative edge, and makes it impossible to get out of your head (usually a favorable quality in a pop song).

“Better Love,” another commendable track, is a bit darker and more sultry than “Cruel,” but it effectively showcases Foxes’ strong vocals layered smoothly over more acoustic accompaniment.  The song also received a flattering remix by Steve Smart, which could lead to some additional recognition for Foxes as her songs gain eventual popularity.

Foxes may still have some work to do on developing her overall repertoire, but as far as I’m concerned, her work is still makes me proud to identify as a fan of indie pop.

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