The screams that occurred when the email came through that Foxes long awaited debut album “Glorious” was available to stream from Sony Music were deafening (some neighbours may of thought I was being murdered they were that loud). With the Australian release of the album May 9th just a few days away the anticipation for this album had been killing me. Foxes has had a wild ride releasing a string of songs from her own work, appearing on some of the biggest hits of 2013 with ZEDD, Rudimental and Fall Out Boy and even winning a Grammy this year with ZEDD for Clarity. Glorious represents a statement for her with the album she’s making the statement, “I am not a featuring artist… I am Foxes.”
Fans of Foxes had to live through the disappointment in February as the album’s initial launch date was pushed back to May for unknown reasons but believe me everyone the wait is well worth it for the masterpiece that is “Glorious”. The 16 track deluxe edition of the album boast soft piano melodies, shuddering synths, bone shaking drums and the sing song angelic voice that can only be achieved by the lady Foxes. The album was mainly produced by Ghostwriter who has also worked with Rudimental amongst other artist. The albums production remains slick and polished with the right balance of heavy beats mixed with euphoric synth work.
The album starts with the helicopter buzz and tribal drums of the track “Talking To Ghosts.” Foxes sings “I could be your guiding light if you had let me,” before the shuddering synths (an addition that can’t be heard as clearly in the live performances) chime in through the chorus. The song is equal parts sad ballad mixed with a more danceable/swayable feeling.
The album takes an almost anthemtic sway now into the tracks “Youth” followed by “Holding Onto Heaven“. Youth the original launch pad from which Foxes gained most of her notability is now a few years old by the charm of the song is still present. It’s a song that can inspire hope and joy in your hearts and have you singing along “don’t tell me our youth is running out, it’s only just begun”. Holding Onto Heaven is the latest single from Foxes and it’s one of those songs that makes you want to dance till you bleed and fall to the ground praising a entity of higher power.
“White Coats” an earlier synth heavy track that was released on the original “Warrior EP” makes an appearance then on the album. There’s not much reworking to the older tracks, obviously they’ve been cleaned up in parts but theres no big changes to them, which is great because they really don’t need it. White Coats brings the tempo down a little big on the album serving as a break between the last two danceable tracks and the track which is about to make it’s appearance “Let Go For Tonight“. If you haven’t heard Let Go For Tonight yet do yourself a favour and go get it on iTunes now! The track is this big explosion of colour and feel good emotion. The track could cheer up even the most down soul.
Birds chirp and wings flutter now as “Night Glo” introduction begins (note Kleenex may be required for this track). This track is heartbreakingly beautiful. Foxes vocal work is simply stunning her high notes and the large production that’s both large and simple at the same time is superb. This track gives the album the feeling of a movie soundtrack with the highs and lows. If it was a movie this would be where the lover loses her partner.
As this next track begun I actually got physical goosebumps, from out of no where there’s this massive attack of tribal drums and them BAMMMM you’re hit with “Night Owls Early Birds“. This track has probably had the most work done to it since the early demo’s of it was released. There’s a piano riff that runs through the chorus and the huge tribal drums carry throughout the track. This track is massive just so massive and amazing and it has physically left me breathless!
The title track “Glorious” is a melancholy ballad of sorts. It’s beautiful and has a strange quality about it which leaves you mesmerised with it’s big crashing chorus’s. “Echo” another earlier released track now makes it’s way onto the album. You cannot fault this song in any way. There seems to be a longer introduction to the song with the music box playing at the start but other then that it’s the same Echo that we all know and love. “Shaking Heads” a song that was an instant download with the album is next on the track listing. Personally I’ve never been able to get into this song and I always thought it sounded more like a filler to the album. It had a long outro of nature sounds which is kind of quirky and cute just like Foxes but it doesn’t accomplish much I feel.
“Count The Saints” the only track from the album that I hadn’t previously heard live or as a demo is an interesting listen. There’s a haunting drum and a sweet soft piano playing throughout the song. “Love isn’t always fair but that’s no reason to be so cruel to me” this song is raw and emotional and again feels as though it belongs on the soundtrack to a movie.
A HUGE song for Foxes “Clarity” gets a feature on her album but as a stripped down “live” performance. Without the heavy EDM production of ZEDD, Foxes voice shines through giving everyone who listens their own moment of clarity. “Beauty Queen” another song that attracted a lot of fans to Foxes has been given a makeover and polish for the album. The track sounds a lot more crisp and clear then the original. The chorus “Beauty Queen it’s only skin deep, it’s only thin sheets, there’s no audience” is still beautiful to listen to and it makes me really glad that this track was included in the album.
“Home” and “In Her Arms” both really early demos that leaked onto the internet have also made it onto the album. Home is this sweet childlike song set to the dings of what I assume is either a music box or xylophone. It’s sweet and cute and yeah not really a stand out on the album. In Her Arms has some more xylophone sounds and a tribal drum and yet again another big feeling chorus. This song seems very open and raw also. The album is laced with these tender moments of emotion throughout the album and you can feel it in this track.
Next is the final track and believe me I never really want this album to end! “The Unknown” Foxes is ending the album on a big 80’s synth jumping on your bed singing into your hairbrush cause you think no one is home moment. This track begs you to get up off your ass and dance like no one’s watching you. It’s fun, it’s frivolity it’s essentially everything Foxes is! It’s a great ending to the album and it’s leaves me going straight back to the start of the album just so I can listen to it all over again.
All in all “Glorious” is an anthemtic collection of work with a soundtrack to your life kind of feeling. There’s equal parts sad moments to go with the joyous fun moments on the album and it’s probably the strongest debut album i’ve heard since “The Fame” in 2008.
Glorious is out May 9th in Australia and May 12th worldwide. You can preorder the album HERE!!! and can watch Foxes latest single Holding Onto Heaven below!