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Mushroom: Foxy Music

With actual unedited song titles like “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McGovern” and “Americans Own the Moon, They Bought It From the Germans-Who Won It During a Poker Game in World War II,” you might assume that San Francisco ensemble Mushroom’s Foxy Music is just an exercise in loopiness for loopiness’s sake. But enough tracks on Foxy Music stay on our own plane of existence that you can’t say much about the album as a whole, except that it’s good. True, the above-named tracks fall prey to self-indulgent noisemaking, but tunes like “Joe Namath,” with a tuba-driven strut worthy of the fast-living New York Jet, or “For Men With Beards,” a 10-minute tribute to the hirsute with a loping groove touched by melodies so spontaneous they sound conjured, bring the record back down to a good (and, on occasion, quite funny) place on Earth. “I Had Some Dreams, They Were Clouds in My Coffee” even comes close to simple, beautiful pop with its golden guitar chords and hazy yet wrenching harmonies. On the other hand, nothing on the album is quite as seductive as the blonde mod chick on the cover. Caveat emptor.

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