When I initially heard this song, I couldn’t have run from it faster. I switched on “Unstoppable,” and rocked back and forth in the fetal position.
After all, this wasn’t the Foxy that we all came to know and love.
I remember seeing Foxy when I was a junior in college and the raw energy they transmitted to the crowd. Eric lit and ate cigarettes on stage and balanced on Alex’s shoulders. Schuyler (Sky) slammed and stomped on his keyboard. Alex had a bravado and swagger that made the trumpet seem badass for the first time since…ever.
They hit the stage with a voracity that made me both concerned for their safety, and left totally in awe after they walked off. Quite frankly, Anberlin didn’t even come close to living up to them. But luckily for me, I hadn’t went for Anberlin. I’d went for Foxy.
Back to Tragic Thrill. It was understated and that scared me. Foxy has ALWAYS been the complete opposite of understated. Immediately to me, it signaled the end. Not in a bad way, but the whole album just seemed to be a more resigned farewell to their audience and the stage. Almost like they needed calm themselves in order to say bye. They didn’t want to go out swinging; they’d already won the fight.
There’s a buildup in the song, though, that leads to a breakthrough of excitement.
“Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for something. I don’t know what.” As Eric finishes that line, there’s a progressing drumroll that leads into Sky pounding the keyboard and eventually Alex leads into an extended trumpet solo at 3:17. It’s a quieter riot than Foxy usually leads, but still has the same heart.
My point is, this song is what I dive into when I’m in the car alone. It seems perfect for when I’m on Columbia Parkway headed back into downtown. It’s even more fitting if it’s foggy out and overcast. I love riding along the river and seeing the city come into view.
This song is perfect for that: bringing things into view.