Fox

Fox

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Riding on the back of two of the most spellbinding U.K. hits of 1974-1975, "Imagine Me Imagine You" and "Only You Can," Fox's debut album had a lot to live up to -- and it failed completely. The Fox sound, as spelled out on the singles, was a heavily phased, extraordinarily sultry, low-key glam balladry, awash with vocalist Noosha's exotically accented purr. And the album's opener, a post-coital rendition of the old classic "Love Letters," upheld the promise. Move deeper, though, past the strategically positioned singles, and perhaps there was very good reason for opening the album with a familiar cover version. Without exception, the eight remaining tracks meander lackadaisically around a lyrical thrust that tried to be sensual, sexy, and strange, but read like bad high-school poetry. It's a world inhabited by mysterious jugglers, patient tigers, and Pisces babies, but just when you think it can't get worse, you run across "The More," a post-Desiderata homily that could have been written at the height of the hippy '60s -- and certainly should have been left there. With an instrumental vibe that certainly aspires towards 10cc-esque heights, the musical expertise that distinguished the 45s is, of course, present, while songwriter Kenny Young's production is flawless -- again, the 10cc influence is apparent. The problem is that the best of Fox could be summarized in just the first two songs the world ever heard. The rest should have been saved for Pilot B-sides. They seemed to like 10cc as well.

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