Listening to Baby FuzZ’s Plastic Paradise is like playing a game of musical hopscotch – you’re skipping from alt-rock to indie pop to EDM. The influences that inspired the music on this album range from 70’s glam to 2000’s emo, and touches on everything in between. Spectacular hooks and danceable rhythms are he golden threads that hold it all together.
Baby FuzZ has seemed to come out of nowhere, but founder and frontman Sterling Fox has paid his dues in spades. He spent years working primarily behind the scenes as a songwriter, studio musician, and producer, working with some of the biggest names in the music industry. After years of supporting other musicians, he’s pouring his heart and soul into his own musical project.
Plastic Paradise opens with an emo anthem entitled “Burial,” then switches gears to the electro-pop number “Disneyland.” From there, it delves into a shoegaze ambiance of “Andy Warhol” and the slow ballad “I’m Still Holding Out For You.” The lyrics so far are playful and roguish. In “Disneyland,” Fox sings: “I don’t want to be your prom date. I don’t wanna take you home to meet my famz. I just wanna be a player, and ride the rides like it’s Disneyland.”
Perhaps the most poignant and honest song on the album comes about halfway through. “Cig” is a song of love and loss about someone who “drove off into the sunset, drinking pinot, singing ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’” The sentimental reminiscence about what was and what could have been concludes; “in the end we all burn out like cigarettes.”
On the B side, “Drip Drop” is about love and loss too, but is built on a foundation of rock n’ roll, channeling some Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis vibes. “Mr. Blu” is an alternative take on a lounge song, where crooning vocals meet swimmy guitar effects. There are a couple more electronic songs on this side too, for good measure.
The album ends with the piano-driven dark ballad “Shadowland.” It feels like a reflection on the cost of being a professional entertainer, with its references to people cheering for tragic anthem, and the open road becoming the highway to Elysium. But yet, he forges on. “I was raised in plastic paradise and I’m still here, deep in Shadowland.”
Plastic Paradise is a showcase of Fox’s skill as a songwriter and performer. He’s comfortable. With a variety of styles and subject matter – in fact, he’s able to pull them off with panache.
It’s fitting that this romp through a sonic candy-land comes in bubble-gum-pink vinyl. If you enjoy the music, be sure to check out the series of music videos that accompany the songs featuring a cast of characters including puppets, a magician, and a karaoke king. Each video is like a mini art-student film which delves further into the storyline of the song.
Plastic Paradise was created with a host of collaborators in addition to band members. With two exceptions, the songs were written, or co-written by, Sterling Fox (aka Brandon Lowry). They were mixed by Chris Connors, and mastered by Emily Lazar and Pete Lyman. Album Art was created by Kristin Eichenberg and Merideth Truax, with Album Design by Ashley Pawlak.
It’s available now to purchase and stream on all major music platforms. Visit Baby FuzZ online, where you’ll find their store, stocked with music, merch, sheet music, and even a comic book about the band’s origin.
Key Tracks: Disneyland, Cig, Shadowland