Foxes - Glorious (2 stars)

Louisa Rose Allen's debut album is a pale conflation of Lykke Li, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding

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Foxes - Glorious

To date, Foxes has proved herself as a favoured ‘featuring’ vocalist – so favoured that she won a Grammy for featuring on the dance hit ‘Clarity’ by Zedd. Since her breakthrough, she has done some other ‘featuring stuff’ with the likes of Rudimental and Fall Out Boy. But now the London-based singer/songwriter born Louisa Rose Allen wants that wind machine to herself, all the better to denote some of the drama she would like to but is unable to convey by purely musical means.

To be fair to Foxes, her debut album is so smothered by its sleek production job that it’s difficult to tell if the idea is to gussy up otherwise bland songs or if what she has written just hasn’t been given the space to breathe. Many of the songs simply replicate the style and pace of ‘Youth’, the manicured tribal pop track which started it all, with Allen left to exert her personality through mannered vocals – the current refuge of the otherwise dullsville performer.

It all adds up to a pale conflation of Lykke Li (for the rhythms), Florence Welch (for the mock drama) and Ellie Goulding (for the banality) – who all just want to be Stevie Nicks singing ‘Edge of Seventeen’ anyway. Allen gamely has a go there too, grafting hints of 80s soft rock on to the try-hard title track and rolling out a couple of pseudo-elemental choruses which sweep you along vigorously in the hope you won’t notice the general vacuity.

These various techniques are no substitute for a naturally occurring hook but Foxes at least fares better when she pares it back, turning up the echo but turning down the blare on ‘Night Glo’, her valiant attempt to channel Kate Bush, and on ‘Count the Saints’, which is not a million miles from your typical Rihanna ballad, resonating with the requisite wounded pride and a certain appealing bombast.

Out now via Sign of The Times Records.

Foxes

Musical moniker of London-based artist Louisa Rose Allen, in the La Roux/Ellie Goulding mould.

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