I occasionally (but not as often as I used to) fall for the pure retail allure of record stores (I’ll call them that even if they only sell CDs), and find myself grabbing for a disc/band I’ve heard nothing from, simply to quench some consumerist thirst.
That was the case with this album. I was trapped at Heathrow Airport (is there any other way to feel in said hell hole?), my last pounds burning a hole in my pocket, and saw this much-lauded debut on sale.
I’ve been puzzling over it ever since. I was under the false impression the Foxes were some folk outfit who perhaps ventured into Arcade Fire land.
Instead, I discovered them to be constructors of soaring baroque pop. The folkie element resides in lyrics that invoke agricultural olde-worlde-ness, with a tinge of the disturbing sense that something sinister is happening in those snowbound rural homes.
At its best this album showcase some beautiful tunes, such as White Winter Autumnal:
Not everything is as brain-latching, and it all gets a little bit too melodramatic for my liking.
As an aside, I perhaps should have taken a leaf from the album cover. I have an ambivalent stance on the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, as his peasant paintings are way too overdone and busy. Alas that is my overall stance on this album too.
File under:Basil Brush may not approve