Album review overview: The Boxx Orchestra, Feet and more

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. There are way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

The Boxx Orchestra – The Horn Of Plenty

“The Horn of Plenty” is the second album by the Dutch symphonic prog-rock band The Boxx Orchestra. The opening track, “Daybreak,” has a retro feel, with Ria Mulder’s narrative and somewhat monotonous vocals. The repetitive percussion distracts from the captivating guitar work. The symphonic elements are more prominent in “Go For The Night.” The intro of “Simple Love Songs” is enjoyable, but the singing lacks passion. The title track addresses greed and overconsumption, which, along with the unique vocal timbre, may not appeal to everyone. Additionally, the music has many repetitions. The love and pain of “I Won’t Recover” should be deeply felt… but sadly, it’s not. Most transitions in these nine songs blend into each other. The lyrics are partly clichéd, making the whole predictable and quite sweet at times. The sound could be improved. Yet, there are positives, such as good intros, a pleasantly present bass, fine organ sounds, and nice details in the drumming. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (6/10) (OOB Records)

Julie Christmas – Ridiculous and Full of Blood

Julie Christmas returns after a long silence with her new solo album “Ridiculous and Full of Blood.” With a name like Julie Christmas, you might expect something different in terms of title and music. Known for her work with the noise rock band Made Out of Babies and post-metal supergroup Battle of Mice, Christmas once again shows her versatility and intensity. Featuring contributions from musicians like Johannes Persson (Cult of Luna) and Andrew Schneider (Kenmode/Unsane), the album offers a mix of noise rock, post-metal, shoegaze, and alt-pop. Highlights include the powerful single “Not Enough,” the dynamic “Supernatural,” and the emotionally charged ballad “The Lighthouse.” Christmas’s ability to blend various genres results in an album that is both challenging and accessible. “Ridiculous and Full of Blood” is raw, but with her talent and emotional depth, Christmas makes an impressive return for both old and new fans. (Anton Dupont) (7/10) (RED CRK)

John Grant – The Art of the Lie

John Grant’s latest album, “The Art of the Lie,” is a beautiful tribute to the golden days of disco. From the first notes, you’re transported back to the lush, funky vibes of iconic acts like The Gap Band, Cameo, and Lakeside. The tracks are infused with that characteristic velvet groove, but Grant adds his modern twist, making each song feel fresh and relevant. The album is a true trip down memory lane, complete with rich textures and the unmistakable energy of the disco era, but with a contemporary edge that keeps it refreshing and unique. The nostalgic feeling is enhanced by the production, which deliberately sounds a bit dusty, as if the tracks came straight from a forgotten vinyl collection. Although some tracks might be somewhat predictable, Grant succeeds in creating a cohesive and enjoyable album that will please both old and new fans. “The Art of the Lie” deserves a solid 7 out of 10. (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (Bella Union)

Infinity Song – Metamorphosis Complete

Infinity Song’s latest album, “Metamorphosis Complete,” excels with beautiful vocals that seem to achieve such perfection only in a family setting. The album opener “I Want You Back” immediately sets the tone with Beatlesque arrangements, including a George Harrison-like guitar solo and indeed heavenly vocals. This is just the prelude to a rich and well-produced album where real people play and sing with authentic voices on real instruments. The title song takes the listener back to the long-gone hippie days, evoking comparisons to icons like CSN&Y and Carly Simon. Each track radiates musicality and craftsmanship without striving for originality awards. The harmonies of the Boyd siblings, combined with their instrumental finesse, provide a transcendent listening experience. Although the album is not groundbreaking, there is nothing to criticize about the musical quality. Infinity Song has delivered a top album that further solidifies their position in the contemporary music scene. “Metamorphosis Complete” deserves a solid 8 out of 10. (Elodie Renard) (8/10) (Roc Nation Records)

Feet – Make it up

Feet’s latest album is a disappointing attempt to find a niche in the market that simply does not exist. Although the band has evolved and experimented with Brit-pop revivalism since their post-punk beginnings, they sadly fall short with this album. From the opening track, it is clear that Feet’s musical qualities are not enough to captivate the listener. The songs are mediocre, boring, and often downright irritating. Where their debut album, “What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham,” still had a certain charm thanks to Cam Blackwood’s clear production, this magic is completely absent in their latest work. It seems the band has followed an ill-considered marketing strategy, resulting in an album that belongs nowhere. The musicians fail to convincingly convey their ideas, leading to a frustrating listening experience. It’s a shame to see Feet not live up to their potential. Perhaps they would be better off channeling their energy into respectable professions outside the music industry, where they can contribute more constructively without annoying others. This album is a missed opportunity. (Jan Vranken) (2/10) (Submarine Cat Records)

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