Label: Sony Records
Released on: May 12th, 2014
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.
Hoping to shed the skin she's been wearing as a guest vocalist on such larger than life tracks as Zedd's "Clarity" and Rudimental's "Right Here," Foxes has created a new portrait of herself through her new record. Glorious is an emotional affair, finding the vocalist evoking the spirit of Kate Bush through her massive vocal range and atmospheric electronic pop in the same dramatic vein as Bat for Lashes. If she's intentionally trying to move away from her image as a guest vocalist, Glorious certainly accomplishes this. This is the sound of an individual artist who is striving to be incomparable to any of her contemporaries, and aside from my Kate Bush and Bat for Lashes comparisons, there isn't anyone out there right now who sounds quite like this.
Debut albums can be very hit or miss; typically, an artist's debut should be among their best work, as it's something that's been labored over for a large chunk of time. Judging from the crystalline perfection we hear in the production on Glorious, this album has been perfected with a fine tooth comb. Not even to mention how spectacular Foxes' voice sounds on this record: if you think "Clarity" is all this girl is capable of, listen to the title track from this album, and you'll quickly change your mind. Her vocals hit peaks that you would've never expected from someone we've only known, up until this point, as a guest vocalist.
Musically, Glorious covers enormous ground throughout its hour-long runtime. "Home" could very well be considered straight down the middle trip-hop, while "Count the Saints" finds Foxes moving into almost new-age, Sarah Brightman-esque territory. For those fans craving something a little more bouncy, "Night Owls Early Birds" is an enthusiastic, piano-driven slice of bliss that lets Foxes rock out a little bit. If you're looking for an album full of "EDM" bangers just because of her association with the genre up until this point, you'll be thoroughly disappointed. But if emotive, electronic indie-pop is your bag, Glorious will not leave you disappointed. Structurally, the album holds up as a great piece of work. At the very least, you should listen to opener "Talking to Ghosts" for a real taste of what to expect from the rest of the album. If you're looking for a more personal version of "Clarity," there's a piano/orchestra-driven version on Glorious that, in my opinion, outdoes the Zedd cut. A few of the songs here could be considered filler by some ("Shaking Heads" runs a little too long for my taste, but it may grow on me over time), but overall this is a very strong debut from a very skilled vocalist.