Hang is the sound of a group of pop music pirates taking their nostalgia-steeped aesthetic to its gloriously overblown conclusion. Holding absolutely nothing back, Foxygen deliver an absurdly grandiose album that should not work nearly as well as it does.
Utterly theatrical, it represents without presenting; evokes without mentioning; transports without moving. It's as fake as the time we're living in, and as fascinating as our own decadence.
While Hang doesn’t explore much new ground, that’s never really been on Foxygen's agenda. It's a great return all the same.
This is a pointedly unhip album, and that's part of what makes it so refreshing. Few other artists would embark on a project so absurdly lavish in fear that one wrong step would result in curdled cheese; Foxygen, thankfully, aren't so damn afraid.
This is perhaps Foxygen’s most ambitious album to date, and few would suggest that the act’s played it safe thus far. But while the band’s overall discography has been a mixed bag, on Hang, Foxygen hits its stride, a well-oiled machine confident in its surfeit of songwriting abilities and wieldy powers.
They go all in on Hang, so while it may draw its share of eye rolls, for those who play along, it's a triumph of extravagance and theatricality served with a wink and a chorus line.
Hang is composed of clean, airy, carefully arranged symphonic pop, all recorded with the aid of a 40-plus-piece orchestra. This venture into polished non-rock styles robs Foxygen of some of their spontaneity.
With Hang, Foxygen have proven their capacity for lavish spectacle, but they’re still at their best when they give themselves the freedom to roam.
As Foxygen continue with their disparate series of throwback experiments, Hang finds them closer than ever to striking a balance between their wild, ambitious ideas and innate strengths.
‘Hang’ is an incredibly optimistic album, one that runs on diggable campiness and flower power. It’s almost hilariously old-fashioned, but it’s adventurous enough to feel like something brand new.
At first the wackiness is too much to digest ... Yet against the odds, Hang does reward patience – there’s a Todd Rundgren-esque devotion to melody throughout.
‘Hang’ is like an oversized bowl of mushy oatmeal: invigorating for just long enough to keep you from noticing how incredibly nauseous you’ve become.
Foxygen recorded all eight tracks on Hang with a symphony orchestra, giving the album a sense of technical accomplishment and musical depth that help mask the fact that these songs are mostly just a series of stylized poses from a band that doesn’t have a fixed identity of its own.
There’s a dizzying amount of ideas flying around in Hang’s 33 minutes, but the vast majority of them aren’t developed enough for me to get anything concrete out of them.
Hang appears as an album of ambition that outdoes itself so spectacularly that it appears as a jazzed up, Disney-esque caricature of its own end product.
Sometimes, sheer ambition can render music too top-heavy to succeed. Hang, by Los Angeles duo Foxygen, is a case in point.