Baby FuzZ's Debut, Plastic Paradise is an Unbound Social Masterpiece
Evan Dale // Feb 27, 2019
It’s been a wild ride. When we first heard of Baby FuzZ and heard his music, it was at the hands of Shadowland, a particularly experimental, bold, and Elton John-nuanced ballad of modern society’s failings and feelings of utter hopelessness. Its meaning hit close to home – it was dark, unaccepting, and challenging of what and who we are. But the music was bright, outlandish, and humorous. It was art as its meant to be: something beautiful and unexpected being manifested to make a statement about something else. And it worked. At first, we were taken aback by Baby FuzZ’s intense, painful screaming of Shadowland. We were unsure of what to think or how to relate it. But then, we related to it. It was strong and powerful both musically and socially, creatively and politically. There was an obvious statement being made.
We did our research. We went back through Baby FuzZ’s catalogue to find only one other track – Cig. It was acoustic and folk, and it told the story of proud Americans who couldn’t explain why or how they came to be proud. It was genius, making a statement about a certain mid-American pride in a style and sound that those who the song was about would probably enjoy if they didn’t bother to notice the satire of it all.
We did more research. It turned out Baby FuzZ – this newcomer wasn’t a newcomer after all, but just a virgin project from a well-established producer who had worked in, and perhaps been jaded by the music industry and its corporate and commercial absurdity for years. In retaliation to it and in retaliation to the turn society had been taking of late, Sterling Fox started down the Baby FuzZ road to make music, to make statements.
And that’s exactly what he did. When we talked with him after the release and our own discovery of Shadowland, he told us of big things in the works and a bigger picture taking shape, not necessarily held by the bounds of musical styling or genre, but rather held in the bounds of thematic discourse and directional statements on the socio-political climates of the West. Something about a broad-ranging and talented artist using his gift to explore meaning rather than musical grouping in an era of emerging post-genre and stylistic grey area was so timely, we were instantly addicted to the story. And through the story, we became addicted to the music.
With each subsequent release, the story grew, or rather, Baby FuzZ brought to light with music a story we all know too well – the American Condition told from angles of those too conditioned to know that it exists. Disneyland explored our enamourèrent with magic and the impossibly high expectations that accompany the consumerist dream while at the same time exploring its effects on sexual obsession and lack of legitimate relationships in the modern era.
I don’t wanna be your boyfriend. I don’t wanna take you home to meet my friends. I just wanna be a player and ride the rides like its Disneyland.
Burial is a 90’s rock-reminiscent track that deals with our obsession with violence, and overreactions brought on by stubborn self-centeredness and inability to deal with emotions.
This is all you got left, a middle finger and a yawn. If I’m being honest, I’m much happier when you’re gone. Tell me that I’m reckless, tell me I’m a dumb blonde. If you break a promise, I’ll put you in the back lawn.
I’m still holding out for you and What U Gonna Do 4 Luv tackle the impossibility of unearthing truth and honesty in modern relationships.
And now, with the addition of four new tracks, Plastic Paradise in all of its nihilistic-poking glory takes shape. Baby FuzZ’s debut album is something that has never come to fruition before: a bold take on music now that music has new (lack of) structure in harmony with a throwback reminiscence to the meaning and discourse of music’s political past. The best art often comes from the worst of times. Art is a way to protest, to make statements, and to push for change through the creativity and underlying spirit of all humans. And at a particularly polarizing and on-edge moment in recent political history, it should be no surprise that music should once again take a turn towards socio-political engagement.
Baby FuzZ with Plastic Paradise has delivered a duality of important musical concepts rolled into one experimental and incredibly broad project: the idea that an album need not be defined by genre or styling and can instead thrive in wide-ranging boldness, and that music should once again return to its social conscience and push for change. It’s a masterful work of creative genius that will only come to be more important both musically and socio-politically for decades to come.