Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Foxes – Body Talk

Talking “Body Talk”…

Will Adams: A bit of unfortunate timing, given the chart reign of a certain similarly titled (though not as good) song. More unfortunate, though, is how “Body Talk” embodies the bulk of Foxes’ output: competent and well-executed enough, but lacking an edge that would get anyone talking past the first few plays.

Thomas Inskeep: Bad timing department: more than a passing similarity to Tove Lo’s “Talking Body,” right down to her voice. That said, since it’s cut from the same cloth, this is great, tough pop.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s unavoidable: “Body Talk” is only a syllable and a half away from Ladyhawke. Admittedly, though, the similarities aren’t all-encompassing — Ladyhawke would be unlikely to resort to dance for her escape, for one thing. “Body Talk” takes it as the time-honoured outlet for unabashed emotion, stripped down from words to drifting “la la la”s; infinitely more evocative than the equivalent “these fading beats” from “Youth”. Foxes’ performance outdoes those of all her prior singles, palpably in the moment she describes, and even the distorted “oh”s add to that, erring on the right side of discord, just as she is. It’s a bit like “Solo Dancing”, but rather than bubbling, bursting.

Alfred Soto: In 2006, these sawtooth synths, minor chord strums, and her vocal resemblance to Jenny Lewis would have gotten “Body Talk” lots of play at my indie disco. It’s 2015, and I’m not convinced Robyn’s Body Talk was a good idea.

Brad Shoup: She didn’t let the acappella “la-la” part sour up the very end of the track, and the superbly mixed handclaps smack harder than the snare. “Body Talk” is one of those Escher staircases, or perhaps a complete but flipped sleep cycle. Keep the rot as a curiosity, wake up tonight and it’s gone. The synth crackles; it sounds like a glum air-raid signal. It combines with the comparatively chipper electric piano to form some kind of fake memory. I guess I’m thinking of the Newsboys crossed with the Choir.

David Lee: Aims for neon dance floor exuberance; lands in the familiar, if tenuous, comfort of a flamingo pink sunset viewed from under the covers.

Anthony Easton: Multilayered production, feathered over difficult beats, with a voice steeled against emotional annihilation, this track is sophisticated, daring, and genuinely beautiful.

Patrick St. Michel: It’s catchy, but I keep getting distracted.

Katherine St Asaph: Musically, “Body Talk” couldn’t be more ideal: the best part of “Teenage Dream,” plus the hook of “Poker Face,” crafted into a galvanized steel blade, heavier than many but able to swoosh like an aerobics move. Name-wise, it couldn’t be more unfortunate: it evokes Robyn and Tove Lo, two singers of Foxes’ general sort that she has so far failed to position herself against. Her vocal production has a drugstore-lipstick sheen to it, which helps her as a singer but doesn’t help her stand out. But mislabel (or, probably, mismarket) this as another artist, and it could be their best single. This is why most pop criticism about personality or star power, and who has it and doesn’t, is confirmation bias: it takes the music industry’s Darwinian charisma-sorting of pop stars, the exact thing critics are supposed to fight, and codifies it into fact. The truth may well be that the industry’s got one Taylor Swift, one Beyonce, a dozen ladies-in-waiting and hundreds of commoners (the royalty metaphor is not accidental); closer to the truth is that the industry has got thousands of talented potential stars, hundreds of smash hits — some recorded, some demos, some abandoned names in an ASCAP database — and not enough investment, in infrastructure or caring, for them all. Pessimism: We can no more change this than we can singlehandedly reverse Citizens’ United. Optimism: We can find great songs, look on our own, feel where we feel, and try.

Reader average: [8] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Foxes – Body Talk”

  1. Belatedly remembered that this reminds of “Miss You Like Crazy” by Briskeby, which is brilliant.

    I should have gone [8] here really.