Published May 02, 2019Foxygen never rest on their laurels. On Seeing Other People, they explore dance and disco from their unique perspective. Foxygen do not treat these genres as a stultified image to nostalgically imitate; instead, they take an appreciative approach that brings these genres into the present. This results in a modern album that sounds like a development of disco rather than a copy or parody.
The lyrics are part of what keep it firmly in present day. There is self-referentiality in songs like "Work," which speaks about how the singer has "to go to work on this song," and on "Flag at Half-Mast," where a girl the singer met "says I don't listen to Foxygen." This hits its peak at "The Conclusion," a closing track about album closers.
Seeing Other People has an autobiographical tone to it; songs like "Livin' A Lie" provide a satisfying narrative of a successful but tired musician. The title track takes a steady bass line and a crooning approach to polyamory —as an emotional rather than purely sexual phenomenon.
One of the only things missing from the album is flow between tracks. Songs hit a satisfying ending, but then fade out and move to a track that doesn't connect to what the listener just heard. This is very effective on the transition to "The Thing Is," which is a lively, distorted, big band number, but then the album returns to disco without a clear bridge.
Still, the album keeps you hooked throughout with its intriguing lyrics, bass grooves, and Sam France's soulful-yet-ironic vocals. Seeing Other People is eclectic in a good way. (Jagjaguwar/Outside)