Angel Blossom 2023

Electric Fox

A stalwart of San Francisco roots scene casts a glance over his shoulder to harvest the finest fruits of recent oeuvre.

He might have been releasing records for almost three decades now, yet it’s the last few years that Michael Vincent focuses on on this roundup of his personal preferences and punters’ picks, with one fresh cut added for good measure and a troika of old ones given a sonic update. Despite such an approach to keeping what amounts to legacy glossy and crisp, the Californian artist’s attempt to present “Electric Fox” as an album, as opposed to a compilation, can fail in gelling into a coherent whole – the tracks on offer are a mixed bag by their very nature, and their flow is just as naturally uneven – and still, his grasp of Americana is deep enough to pique the listener’s interest.

So if the contrast between the raw beat and muscular twang of newly fashioned opener “Together” won’t take anybody’s breath away, and nor will Vincent’s unpretentious voice, this piece’s refrain is as warm as a hearth and guitar jangle behind it is stylishly simmering, and the pop shimmer of “Fool, My Eye” can’t be ignored either, especially when Michael’s vocals harness the chorus and Scott Warren’s six strings weave a catchy solo. But while the harmonies-flaunting “Last Summer” elegantly harks back to San Franciscan lightness of the Sixties, the riff-driven “The Longest Time” and “(Kinda Like) Forever” feel too superficial, their melodic hooks notwithstanding, and the insistent “Living Room” comes across as an aurally shallow number which outstays its welcome – unlike the silky “In A Whisper” that’s intimately alluring, or “Travel” that concludes this record in a briskly scintillating manner.

As fine an introduction to a muso’s creativity as any, “Electric Fox” is flawed, though cunningly magnetic.


May 21, 2023

Category(s): Reissues
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