The Phoenix Foundation
The Phoenix Foundation didn't make many waves outside their native New Zealand until their 2011 album, Buffalo, arrived on the scene. But rather than stick with its appealing poppy formula, they've taken a more prog-y route for fifth record Fandango, which wasn't the best idea. Clocking in at 78 minutes, Fandango is a lot to take in, especially upon first listen. Nothing happens quickly, with every song taking its time to slowly build towards an expected climax, although it doesn't always happen. And therein lies one of the album's main problems: making the listener stick around repeatedly for six minutes when the same could be accomplished in four gets annoying real quick. The best moments reside somewhere between Midlake and the Church, and that alone isn't a bad thing, but Fandango tries to revel in its excess and overreaches far too often to be considered a success. Like the sprawling albums of the' 70s it tries to emulate, there are enough lovely moments scattered throughout for the very patient to eventually discover. It shouldn't be this difficult though.
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