The 60’s were a time marked by the use of psychedelic drugs. It almost goes without saying, as a result, the world was given some great music. Today, musicians often not only emulate this style, but celebrate it as being one of the greatest periods for music. Foxygen is a band that in particular carries a strong 60’s vibe.
Jonathan Rado of Foxygen has officially decided to launch a solo album titled Law & Order. Needless to say, he hasn’t abandoned the psychedelic style. Law & Order is not only a reflection of Rado’s creativity but also his dedication and love for music. If I didn’t know any better, I’d call him a time traveler who somehow came from the past. His music is that accurate.
Law & Order is an assortment of sounds to say the least. Each song shows a very different aspect of Rado’s creative side. “Several Horses,” kicks things off with an eerie and ominous tone mixed with dreamy singing –the song is reminiscent of something psychedelic. This all changes quickly however; “Hand In Mine,” is infinitely more cheerful and sentimental. Rado’s dynamic changes several more times throughout the album, from the melancholic charm of, “Oh Suzanna,” to the hyper, fuzzed out, and frantic feel of “I Wanna Feel It Now!!!”
Undoubtedly, the 60’s and 70’s inspiration Foxygen expresses shines through in Jonathan Rado’s solo album as well. I can’t speak as some sort of Foxygen enthusiast when I say this, but I’d seriously push the idea that Rado took things in a far more psychedelic direction. Law & Order doesn’t just sound like it was made by a guy who’s been through a psychedelic trip or two, but the album itself IS a psychedelic trip.
“Dance Away Your Ego,” comes off as that euphoric moment where all you want to do is smile. The title itself is extremely fitting as well, the bass is smooth and alluring, the drums are rhythmic and force you into movement. Fittingly enough, the last song of the album, “Pot of Gold,” is much like the last few moments of a trip. “Pot of Gold,” initially seemed like a vaporware tribute. The song is hazy, electronic, and cheesy feeling. Perhaps rather than an end of a trip, the song is closer to the transition from the 70’s to 80’s.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to call Law & Order perfect. While Rado adds several new aspects to a very time-specific sound, he also leaves much to be desired. Some of the jams just sound repetitious, others just seem to fit in like filler. There isn’t really an “aha!” moment to be found in this one. Law & Order isn’t exactly a blockbuster.
What’s worse; while the album does transition nicely through each song, sometimes it feels a bit bi-polar. The leap from “Hand In Mine” to “Looking 4a Girl Like U,” is incredible. How do we go from true love to bluesy, whiny vocals? The same applies to “All The Lights Went Out in Georgia,” and “I Wanna Feel It Now;” things go from calm and incredibly relaxed to just plain crazy. While most songs fit together well, there’s always a constant leap in Rado’s energy.
Overall, Law & Order is pretty great. Objectively, there’s really nothing wrong with it. Rado did one hell of a job here. The mood is dead on, the melodies are catchy, and each song makes you want to dance.