After a long wait, the Southampton-born songstress Louisa Allen, better known as Foxes, is releasing her debut album. Foxes has been floating around the British music scene for some time, but had received little attention until about twelve months ago. From following her music since her first EP, Warrior, back in 2012, it is interesting to see how Allen’s music style has evolved and changed.
Glorious was originally slated for release earlier in the year, but has been pushed back for reasons unexplained. Following the smash-hit success of Allen’s collaboration with Zedd, ‘Clarity’, Allen will be keen to assert herself as an artist in her own right.
The album has a confusing quality of being consistently good but lacking in any memorable traits. Many of the songs seem to merge together, and although they are loveable in their own right, it would be a tall order to mentally recall them even after hearing them five or six times. The cause of this may be the album’s theme; as the album is very much about being a fun-loving twenty-something, the songs pull this off with varying levels of success. Her previous single ‘Youth’ is one of these, with its euphoric lyrics and melodies already capturing the attention of many. While other songs like ‘Glorious’ and ‘Holding onto Heaven’ are still good, but just don’t have the tenacity to make them really great pop songs.
Worse are songs like ‘Night Owls Early Birds’, which get lost in the middle of the album somewhere. The lyrics ‘do the walk of shame in your best dress, put your hands in the air, even though I’m still sleeping’ fall flat in Allen’s tones, as her voice unfortunately lacks the character to make the song interesting, especially against a boring bass guitar backing.
Although most of the songs are upbeat, I think some of Allen’s best work on this record comes through in her quieter, piano-based songs, such as ‘Count the Saints’ and ‘Night Glo’. Her voice is strong throughout, but I think it is showcased the best in singing emotionally intense lyrics such as ‘love isn’t always fair,/ but that’s no reason to be so cruel to me’.
Overall, the album was disappointing to listen to. Allen has not built on the exciting and original sounds that she first conveyed in songs like ‘White Coats’ back on her 2012 EP, but has simultaneously failed to write a song that will come close to the success of her collaboration with Zedd. As much as I want Foxes to succeed, I am not convinced that she will as her songs lack the je-ne-sais-quoi that turns pop songs from good to unforgettable.
Listen to: White Coats, Youth, Let Go For Tonight, Count the Saints.