Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

30 10 2009

Today, Chris joins us to talk (to himself) about the new Phoenix album. And wow, he’s only 24 hours late! Record time! Want more info? Check the August 26 article.

Last night at 1:00 A.M., riots broke out on streets across America. Zoo animals escaped, Wal-Marts were set ablaze, and the stock market collapsed in a style similar to Byron Leftwich’s career. Havoc was the theme of the nation, and the source was everydaymusic. I had mysteriously vanished from the publication. Thursday’s my day, folks, and coincidentally is also trash night – just some food for thought (but not for eating, that’s why it’s in the trash). Anyway, now that there’s a cerebral layer of moldy, spongy rye bread on your tongue, I’ll explain. I fell asleep. Whoops, whatever, it was in the middle of writing the review. Honestly, it was just an elaborate plan to score the Friday column, and it performed flawlessly. I’ll do it justice.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 1

Tonight’s about Phoenix. They’re French. Now that you hate them, let me change your mind. I’ve been listening to them for just over a year, and they’re pretty dank. Convinced yet? Good.

I’ve read different things regarding when the band got together, but their first album came out in the year 2000. Prob didn’t do too awesome sales wise. Their second album, Alphabetical, brought the band a couple of charting singles and their first mainstream success. Then they did some live stuff, and in 2006 released It’s Never Been Like That, the first of their albums I listened to. Good stuff. But tonight’s not about how it has or hasn’t ever been; it’s about a man named Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which is actually their newest album, and likely not a man at all. It dropped late this past May, and since then they’ve been bumpin’ and grindin’ all up on the establishment that calls itself late night television. Phoenix has been on over 5 late night talk shows to promote this album – gotta get that buzz. Well, now that we have our hands on them, they’re about to go from buzz to intoxication to some witty way of saying “really, really drunk”. Sure, they’re music is on commercials and TV shows already… but let’s make the push for original soundtracks… of FILMS!

Ok, well, clearly I am being a total bastard tonight, so I’ll stop wasting your time pretending to be a comedian and instead trifle it away by disguising myself as a music critic. Attack of the track by track!

Track 1: “Lisztomania”
Apparently, the term “Lisztomania” was coined by the German romantic literary figure Heinrich Heine to describe the massive public response to Franz Liszt’s virtuosic piano performances. See also: ObamaRama. This is an awesome song, and a great choice to start the album off. It’s catchy, smart, and novel. 5

Track 2: “1901”
This is their big hit off the album, and can even be heard in an excruciatingly average Cadillac commercial. It’s been under two weeks since “1901” peaked on the Alternative Singles Chart, so it’s still hot enough to warrant an Ove Glove. I see what all the fuss is about – two excellent songs in a row. Far out. 5

Track 3: “Fences”
This song is very relaxed, yet has several layers of instruments remains very poppy. The lyrics are a little trippy, but hey, it happens. 4

Track 4: “Love Like A Sunset”
“Love Like A Sunset” is actually the song I fell asleep to last night. I think it might technically be two songs, but it’s in my iTunes as one, so suckit, V2 Records. It’s basically one giant dance trance freaky deaky Port Blue type track, and it’s mighty fresh. Keep it in a Debbie Meyer Green Bag and you’ll be raving to this one for weeks. 4

Track 5: “Lasso”
This tune is very similar to the first two of the album, in that it’s spectacular on several levels. Quick and poppy, solid lyrics, good vocals. Right on.

Track 6: “Rome”
This is a refreshing melody that greatly assists the flow of the album, and it’s got some straight ballin’ strings. Yes, I do live in 2007, thanks for asking. There’s also a legit little breakdown about halfway through the song. The words are real good, too, but language is dead, so who gives a fuck. 4

Track 7: “Countdown (Sick For The Big Sun)”
Some heavy bass in this one, kind of like an Imogen Heap or Postal Service song. I enjoy the repetition in the chorus – Phoenix manages to transform the simple into the surprisingly catchy. 4

Track 8: “Girlfriend”
This one starts out a little electrified, then slows the pace down some. Heavy drum beat, I dig it. More of that Postal Service bass; I’d love to listen to this song out of proper speakers. 4

Track 9: “Armistice”
Starts out anxious, stops, then intermittently returns throughout the song. It’s a good piece with good lyrics/music/vocals/everything, but at this point in the album there’s a slight loss in variety. The second half of the song, however, throws in some extra dank organs and makes it up a little.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 2

This is a really good album. No lies. It’s got a weird electric feel to it, I kind of like it. Depends on the listener, really. But I like where this band is going; they’ve grown a lot, and seem to have a formula down now and are clearly deserving of the Friday spot. Hope the tunes are stuck in your head all weekend. (Not every sentence can be funny!)

Overall: 4/5

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix




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