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Foozle - "Romantic Comedies" | Album Review

by Jordan Weinstock (@weinstockjordan)

Millennials -- leave it to us to write a line like "My room’s got a chill view/ Pad my window up/ I watch my band on Youtube/ It’s an okay time". Foozle's sophomore album, Romantic Comedies, exists in a surprisingly realistic world populated with what Henry Newman from Wet Hot American Summer would have referred to as “the indoor kids”. Well, not exactly -- not those afraid to go outside, but perhaps those who thrive in late-night basements and could survive on a measly diet of bagel bites and instant noodles if necessary. The album's songs, written mostly by principal vocalist and only guitarist Jake Lazovick (although bassist Joanna Smith joins in on a couple of tracks, including the lead on album finisher "Winston", with devastatingly beautiful results) are an exercise in enunciating reality. It is as if no one ever told Lazovick that you are allowed to be someone else in a song, instead he merely relays to the listener what very well could be list of things that occurred to him, and his opinions about those activities.

The most fascinating aspect of this album is how much the band has grown since their debut; they have a newfound confidence here, a willingness to try and experiment and reach out without drowning their findings in teenage angst and distortion. Not that distortion is a bad thing --  there’s a reason the stompbox has stuck around -- however the band now seems more confident in holding back until the emotion is pent up just right, before letting it all loose. Some of this may come from the time Lazovick spent experimenting on his solo project, Sitcom, in between the two albums. The band even redoes Sitcom’s “Blue Sweatshirt”, perhaps signifying a merge of artistic directions. On the eighth track, “TV Screen”, a third vocal layer, extremely processed and pitched up, enters the conversation. It is small and unexpected moments like this that drive the album forward.

If there is one thing to learn from Romantic Comedies it is that sometimes it is okay to sit back and be content. Describing the meaning behind “TV Wrestling” (a sequel to the song of the same name on the prior album) Lazovick explains that things like “self” and “unrequited love” are spectacles of various sorts. These things are presented more as motions we’re expected to go through, as opposed to activities in and of themselves. Lazovick feels this is totally fine, as long as we recognize this dichotomy for what it is. My take away from the album is that life is about being happy, whatever that might mean to you. We live in a world that pushes forth more competition every day and puts immense pressure on getting everything exactly the way you want it. As people keep running faster and faster, they forget that sometimes you have to retreat to your own world, hang out with old friends, and appreciate the view.