Welcome to John Foxx: The Missing Years. After departing Ultravox, Foxx spent the first half of the ‘80s as a solo artist at the cutting edge of synth pop, alongside OMD, Thomas Dolby, et al. After 1985's In Mysterious Ways, however, it seemed that continued solo stardom was not in the cards for him, and he bowed out of the music business entirely for a while. With the exception of a couple of 12" singles in 1992, nothing was heard from Foxx again until 1997. So how did he spend that interim period? Two ways: working as a graphic designer, creating covers for books and even teaching a design course, and quietly investigating the possibilities of ambient music. When he re-emerged in 1997, the Cathedral Oceans album brought the world the results of those investigations, but now My Lost City shows us the work that led up to it. Released in conjunction with Foxx's 30th anniversary as a solo artist, My Lost City offers up tracks from those years spent "underground." Unsurprisingly, what we hear is pretty much in the same vein as Cathedral Oceans -- sparkling, ambient electronic pieces that have the floating, ethereal quality of Brian Eno's late-‘70s albums but also bear a vibe that's simultaneously more visceral and more spiritual. The spiritual side is where the "cathedral" part comes in; evoking the grand Catholic churches Foxx grew up around, most of the pieces sound quite literally heavenly, and once you throw in some monk-like (as in the guys with the robes, not Thelonious), reverb-drenched vocals, that picture becomes complete. So it's not the John Foxx of the early, arch new wave period who we hear on the sessions from those lost years, but rather Foxx the spiritual seeker, determined to wring evocations of the divine from the electronic tools at hand. That's how many who came to the table late have come to know him anyway, and this is where it started.
AllMusic Review by James Allen