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Ladies and gentlemen, we have lift-off; welcome to Foxygen's new album ...And Star Power, an amazingly bittersweet journey that will linger with you way after your turntable has stopped spinning. The highly anticipated follow-up to last year's We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (one of my 2013 personal favourites) is a concept (double) album of sorts that sees Rado and France climbing a few steps towards their place as one of the most creative bands of the new decade.

Opening with 'Star Power Airlines' (a presentation track similar to We Are The 21st...'s 'In The Darkness'), the album immediately kicks in like a trip; as we listen to first shared single 'How Can You Really', we begin to cry silently as we fear the album never again be this perfect. Along with 'Could've Been My Love' and 'Cosmic Vibrations', the track is a time machine that transports us to a studio in mid-70s Los Angeles, where Lennon went during his Lost Weekend period, and the city outside sleepwalks on Quaaludes. 'You & I''s lo-fi aura makes it sound as if it was recorded on a cheap laptop (and knowing Rado's story regarding Law & Order, it probably was). Make no mistake: these first tracks, the catchiest ones of the album (and properly identified by the band themselves as "The Hits"), are probably the most "normal" you'll hear on this album (the fourth part will also have a couple of straight-forward tunes that make the LP come full-circle).

The four-part Star Power suite quietly settles itself in as a chemical weapon: sounding like Harry Nilsson's lost rock opera, it suddenly changes to reveal that the winged faun embracing you has become a monster that grabs you by the waist and violently flies away, entering a rabbit hole in the sky. After 'What Are We Good For' and 'Ooh Ooh', the hallucination seems to slowly fade away - or at least enter a calmer stage -, something momentarily confirmed by 'I Don't Have Anything/ The Gate', that opens The Paranoid Side.

We now enter what is probably not the most pleasant part of the album; but then again, it's not supposed to be. With tracks/songs/sounds that range from avant-garde noise to country-folk (I believe I hear a banjo during '666'), The Paranoid Side has the tough task of preparing us for part three - and believe me, you will need such preparation. 'How Can You Really' jumps in at the end of 'Cannibal Holocaust' as a slight reminder of brighter days, and as 'Hot Summer' ends and part three begins (with a kind but creepy introduction), we start to explore the darkest depths of our mind.

Scream: Journey Through Hell's first sounds appear as a necessary evil within the LP's nature, vaguely reminiscent of Velvet Underground's protopunk live incursions. Immensely more East Coast than the previous two parts, this section of the album carries the smell of industrialised zombie cities and tears our brain apart in what could easily be John Cale's VU long lost album (as opposed to Doug Yule-y 'No Destruction' from Foxygen's previous LP).

After 'Talk''s desperation we reach the fourth and final part of the album, which appears as a message of hope: Hang On To Love opens with the Lennonesque 'Everyone Needs Love', a seven-minute hymn that shows us Rado and France can succeed at practically everything they decide to do musically. 'Hang' completes the two-track finale, closing the album with another beautiful ballad during which France begs us to stay.

...And Star Power is Foxygen's alter-ego and works as the band's Sgt Pepper's..., altering their musical paradigm as it offers a tabula rasa and allows the listener to detach him/herself from what they knew about the band's previous work. This is simultaneously their 0 and 21 Tarot cards: ... And Star Power embodies the essence of The Fool, for it is full of new beginnings and ingenious approaches disguised as naïvety, while at the same time it comes full-circle with the band's essence (and therefore portrays the accomplishment of The World). Some may see ...And Star Power as merely a mature Jurassic Exxplosion Philippic, but its songwriting and overall conceptualising is definitely miles above the duo's experimental adolescent triple album.

...And Star Power is not an album - it's an out-of-body experience.

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