I first encountered Moxy Fruvous when I was a wee pup in high school. I swore by 'My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors' and 'King of Spain'. Up until last year, when I was feeling foul, I could be found singing 'King of Spain' to cheer myself up. And until I heard their Thornhill album, I was convinced they were a one-album band. Their second (I think) album, Wood, left me entirely unimpressed. Thornhill was like manna from heaven.
Moxy Fruvous is musically solid. They have a barbershop-meets-pop sound that is not only endearingly cute, but aurally pleasant. They can fluctuate in harmony without sounding like Boyz to Men rejects. While they don't toss violins, harps or a random assortment of instruments in (as many artists are wont to do these days), what accompaniment they do use is appropriate and skillfully done.
What most impresses me, though, are the lyrics. Their earliest album reflects a witty, funny, intelligent and playful approach to text. Finally, unlike Wood, Thornhill reprises this lyrical vein. They make acerbic jabs at popular action movies ('Splatter Splatter'), sing love songs that are sincere rather than shmaltzy ('Sad Girl'), and add tidbits of social commentary ('Independence Day') that Fruhead faithful find so endearing.
They have matured, both musically and lyrically, without losing their sense of humour. What they have gained is insight, versatility, and variety. From a balladesque song, to drum driven rhythms, to a swingy-rocky number, they are successfully playing stylistically while maintaining musical coherence.
I suppose every group goes through ruts, some from which they will never recover. This album marks not only Moxy Fruvous' recovery, but their growth from happy-go-lucky ear candy to wise, playful tunes to keep you company at any moment. With Thornhill, Moxy Fruvous proves that a comeback can mean good music, rather than shorter skirts and a new publicist.