Hang, the latest from nostalgic rock mavens Foxygen, comes in at less than half the running length of their previous release, …And Star Power. This dedication to brevity alone marks it as an improvement over that sprawling, intermittently incredible mess of homage and reinvention. After constant reports of infighting and implosion, it appears that Sam France and Jonathan Rado are back on the same page. Their new album is tighter, more focused and more assured than they’ve ever sounded.

Foxygen has been many things, but it’s always felt like two friends arguing in the basement over their record collection. It still feels like that, but now there’s a 40-piece orchestra backing up its ideas. Hang is like a big budget blockbuster directed by a pair of indie auteurs, finally getting to step outside of their apartment to film on a studio backlot. Having all these new weapons in its repertoire doesn’t fundamentally change what’s made it a fixture in the first place, though. It’s still Foxygen, only moreso.

Opening track “Follow The Leader” recalls an alternate universe where Mick Jagger and Donald Fagen were hired to score a Wes Anderson film. Its sharp horns and stabbing strings give a color and vibrancy that opens your ears up wide, ready for the aural feast sure to come. “Avalon” and “Mrs. Adams” finds Rado’s piano key proficiency lending a Billy Joel kind of Broadway flavor to these Angeleno narratives. So many of its usual touchstones remain on display, but relatively new influences are thrown into the mix, like Bowie (“America”) and Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles (“On Lankershim”).

Despite all the throwback inspiration on display, the number one artist who comes to mind on Hang is Destroyer. France isn’t a fraction of the lyricist Dan Bejar is, but there’s an earnestness to the sound, a unity of emotion and execution reminiscent of that band’s 2011 full length Kaputt. The production is similarly warm, lush and inviting, even if the storytelling seems to take more of a backseat to the rich instrumentation and dedication to curating a cinematic sweep to the record.

But there’s a real progression to the track listing that makes its brief run time almost bittersweet. By the time closing track “Rise Up” reaches its crescendo, the breadth of the album feels like it’s just getting into full swing. But alas, the credits have drawn to a swift but necessary close. It’s always better to leave the listener wanting something more than to incite them to hack at the track list with a red pen, deleting extraneous songs from their iTunes with reckless abandon.

With this succinct set of tracks, Foxygen has crafted an imminently listenable album with serious replay value. Run these eight tracks back on a loop, catching new details and new textures on each lap. It’s a strong statement that maybe the group has got more left in the tank, despite seeming to have run its particular style into the ground.

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