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We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


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Audio CD, January 22, 2013
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Music

Image of album by Foxygen

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Biography

In May 2011, Foxygen's Sam France and Jonathan Rado nervously handed off a CD-R of their homemade mini-opus Take the Kids Off Broadway to producer and visionary Richard Swift after his performance in a Lower East Side club. The duo, who had just mixed and burned the disc that very night, had been devotees of Swift's outsider-pop oeuvre since high school, when they first began recording ... Read more in Amazon's Foxygen Store

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for 3 albums, 4 photos, and 3 full streaming songs.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B00A6L78YE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In The Darkness
2. No Destruction
3. On Blue Mountain
4. San Francisco
5. Bowling Trophies
6. Shuggie
7. Oh Yeah
8. We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
9. Oh No

Editorial Reviews

We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic is a precocious and cocksure joyride across California psychedelia with a burning, bursting punk rock engine. In the same year as Scott McKenzie the singer of "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)" leaves this mortal coil, Foxygen delivers unto us the dandy Glockenspiel-packing "San Francisco," which both circumvents and dissects McKenzie's tune and its many cousins of the era.

Customer Reviews

It gets better with every listen!
CertifiedZombie
The freshness of the smell of this vinyl record is rivaled ONLY with the freshness of the sounds it produces!
M. Newman
This album was one of the most pleasant surprises for me in quite a while.
Jack Tripper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Hubner on February 4, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
The kids these days, I tell ya. They're obsessed with the past so much that they make a career out of ransacking the stoner dude's record collection from next door and cutting their hair to look like `Ruby Tuesday'-era Mick Jagger and add that snotty swagger of Blonde On Blonde-era Dylan to their still developing vocal prowess. Foxygen are the current purveyors of the past, and after a few listens through of We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic it's safe to say they've done their homework in Classic Rock 101. First off, let me say that this album has grown on me. Whenever an album is so blatantly (insert period of music here) I tend to step back a bit before I decide if I'm gonna find it an album I'll return to and enjoy. At first this record felt like a great collection of lost 60s hits from bands like The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones, and to some extent Bob Dylan. It was a fun listen, but one that I was sure would end up at the bottom of the pile for those `once in a blue moon' rainy day spins. Well, after a few more listens I feel safe in saying that Sam France and Jonathan Rado are doing more here than raiding a musty record collection and emulating their musical obsessions.

`In The Darkness' opens the record with a Magical Mystery Tour sound, in particular that ramshackle masterpiece's `Hello, Goodbye'. Then `No Destruction' comes in with a Bob Dylan swagger in France's vocal and a care-free stoned vibe in the music that makes you instantly want to keep driving on that morning commute to work. Head to the nearest big city, smoke unfiltered cigarettes, and walk the sidewalks all day till someone calls looking for you. This is in the key of Blonde On Blonde, baby.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on January 22, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Psychedelia is no longer a niche genre. It seems nearly every indie band these days dabbles in some form of mind-altering music, whether it's the catchy 60's-influenced kind, shoegaze, or pure "innerspace" music. Foxygen definitely specialize in that first category, but unlike most bands that borrow from psych-rock's past, the influences on 'We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic' are all jumbled together in a way that makes the old sound entirely new.

Some of the songs here even seem to draw from pre-Beatles pop music, such as the absolutely infectious "On Blue Mountain," which sounds like early girl-group music, only played by the Stones and copping the chorus from Elvis's "Suspicious Minds." "San Francisco," one of the best tracks here, sounds like a 50's crooner song, while "Oh Yeah" draws from early Motown, yet both manage to sound totally fresh, with lush instrumentation giving them a rather unique sound.

Other tracks are firmly rooted in the Summer of Love, such as the title song, which would have fit perfectly on the original 'Nuggets' compilation of 60's garage bands, and could almost pass for a lost 13th Floor Elevators track, if the lyrics weren't so hilarious and the vocals so ridiculous. Closer "Oh No" borrows from late-period Beatles and the call-and-response of early 60's girl-groups, with sweeping orchestral arrangements that make for an excellent headphone journey.

One key area where Foxygen separate themselves from most current psych-music is the lyrics, which can be both clever and beautiful. An example of the former: "I met your daughter the other day, that was weird. She had rhinoceros-shaped earrings in her ears." And the latter: "If you believe in love, everything you see is love.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Whitfeld on January 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD
So let me get this straight? You're going to take bits of early Rolling Stones, The Kinks circa Village Green, the more melodic side of the Velvet Underground, and put it into a blender with a scoop of Belle of Sebastian, a sprinkle of girl-group motown, with a dollop of Jonathan Richman, and you're going to BLEND THIS REALLY WELL, while putting your own spin on it?

And this record is going to be called WE ARE THE 21ST CENTURY AMBASSADORS OF PEACE & MAGIC?

Uh, yes please.

This might be the first indie rock album title ever that I ever agreed with. If this is the future of indie rock, we're heading in a pretty awesome direction. Biting hooks, call-and-response, 60's clap along, snarkily sharp lyrics, snap, sugar, and groove. These songs actually have melodies. And there's not a bad one in the bunch. Besides the aforementioned artists, there are echoes of Supergrass, T-Rex, The Last Shadow Puppets, Pete Doherty, The Cramps--basically, everything fine and nice. But they're not content being copy cats--this band has cut a short and sweet record that leaves quite an impression. This band is tight, and knows what they're doing.

Worth every penny. Thank you Foxygen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I had very high hopes for this album after reading some early glowing reviews. In the end, I like most of it, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. It's certainly not a classic of any sort, but there are flashes of greatness on this CD; lyrical fragments and melodic choruses that are quite delightful.

Listening to this CD, you can't ignore the very retro vibe. Which is fine by me. Some of these songs remind me of great artists such as T.Rex, the Kinks, David Bowie, and even 10cc. And yet, despite such excellent influences, or reference points, the songs don't quite rise to the level of true greatness. Again, this is not a bad album, it's just not earth shattering. Maybe I"m jaded, but I've heard it all before. But there is enough promise and spirited energy displayed on this album that I'll be curious to hear the next effort by this band. It sounds like they might be capable of making something really special next time around.
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