Fog 10th Avenue Freakout

[Lex; 2005]

Styles: turntabalism, experimental hip hop, indie rock, lo-fi
Others: Why?, Hymie’s Basement, The Dirty Projectors

I've been noticing a trend lately. Most of the albums that I've heard released this side of the new year (or to be released, as I'm bad at not downloading things) are more accessible than previous efforts, by which I also mean to say that they are less abstract. The first album to bring this to my attention was M83. Then came those leaked albums that, sure, were a bit more conventional, but pretty good nevertheless (I'm lookin' at you "Pagina Dos"). And then somewhere between getting through the new Aesop Rock and hearing Outhud turn into !!!, 10th Avenue Freakout creeped in.

Fog has never been my favorite band, by any means, but I liked Ether Teeth enough to be interested in a new Fog album. While 10th Avenue Freakout does indeed follow with recent conventionalization, it's a new direction for Fog, and more importantly, it shows. Where there was previously a plethora of cuts, glitches, and turntable sounds, there are now indie pop hooks with an underlying aesthetic of experimentation. Every track is also adorned with vocals (no rapping though), which only reinforces the album's poppier nature, but not in a bad way. Once you accept that Fog is doing the pop thing and you stop listening with notions of what it should sound like or what it used to sound like, you'll come to realize that indie-pop laced with Fog probably won't flip your paradigm on its side, but it's a pretty nice aural fix nonetheless.

1. Can You Believe It
2. We're Winning
3. 10th Avenue Freakout
4. The Rabbit
5. Song About a Wedding
6. Holy Holy Holy
7. The Small Burn
8. Hummer
9. O Telescope
10. Goody Gumdrops
11. The Poor Fella
12. A Murder
13. The Hully Gully

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