Saint Etienne – Foxbase Alpha album review: Still brilliant 25 years on

Wed, Dec 28, 2016, 11:00


Foxbase Alpha

St Etienne



This isn’t the first time Saint Etienne’s lush, joyous, magnificent debut album has received a rejig and reworking, but who can resist a classic?

Twenty-five years on from its initial release, Foxbase Alpha still resonates with a wide-eyed urban wonder which has informed Saint Etienne’s better musical steps since.

It’s an album about young souls in love for the first time with London – and the idea of London – as they join the dots around their new hinterland with music, football, fashion, books and much more.

While the reissue comes with many bells and whistles – a limited edition vinyl box set comes with some rare old recordings, for example – the album’s beautifully cast spells still dominate proceedings.

It’s fair to say that the sense of metropolitan excitement conjured up in tracks like Only Love Can Break Your Heart, London Belongs to Me and Can’t Sleep has rarely been bettered since.