|Album Rating: B+|
Man Without Country has been taking notes on elegant simplicity, noting what Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming has cultivated in the modern indie scene and then applying the coats of paint accordingly. What the two have picked up overall is the atmosphere, jarring in the most beautiful way. Warm and lush textures coalescing into syrupy bliss. A healthy passion for the histrionics of 80’s pop music. These elements unite under the same flag on Foe, an alliance of hooks to purpose.
Foe’s success is so immediate because it respects the old while building anew. We have throwbacks to the heyday of our parents, and on the same token we witness a keen adoration for innovation and modern technologies. The computer voices featured on the most emotional songs add a touch of vacancy - they’re accurate for the theme of getting lost in electronics, but frustrating for those wanting to escape the world’s woes. However, those willing to forgive the sometimes melodramatic nature of the album will take solace in the ease in which the album was constructed.
All of the songs take flight without effort, feathers nudged by the evening gust. Each track gets lost in itself, curling up meekly only to unfurl in brilliance. The tension of “Migrating Clay Pigeon” tugs its shackles tighter and tighter, and keeps redefining what we took to be its limit. The most gripping aspect of the album, though, is how haunting it becomes as it snakes through each turn. “Parity” is one of the most emotional songs of the year, pulling off with flying colors what would never be considered a good idea on paper. Not much of this release should work on paper, actually - it takes an active imagination to get lost in Foe.
If M83’s double album was the flashlight illuminating previously aphotic dancefloors, then Foe is the moth relentlessly clinging to the light, sensing meaning and refusing to let go. The album utilizes tools of the past to construct meaningful music with a delightfully modern context, and displays which direction shoegaze-inspired dance music is planning on taking in the near future. It’s a dream from which we won’t be waking up anytime soon, and a much-needed respite from reality that we could all use.
3. Clipped Wings
4. King Complex
5. Ebb & Flow
7. Closet Addicts Anonymous
8. Migrating Clay Pigeon
10. Inflammable Heart