Artist – Album: Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Released: 25th May 2009
Sounds Like: Pristine Parisian power pop
By the time of their fourth full-length, Phoenix were getting the hang of things. Gone is the first album’s patchiness and the second attempt’s conformity. The Parisian four piece take the boisterous pop rock of their excellent third record It’s Never Been Like That, cut out any of those pesky rough edges and spit-polish furiously to create the glossy Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
There has never been a better introduction to their particular blend of indie rock and clean synthpop than on the opening one-two here. The hook-filled ‘Lisztomania’ bounces with a melody full of joie de vivre, despite the lyrics’s anxious dual personality. ‘1901’ is more direct and catchy, with its buzzing guitar breaks. The two are both rightfully considered amongst the best indie songs of the noughties, and proudly display the terrific development of Phoenix since their inconsistent if promising beginnings.
Unsurprisingly, the rest of the album does get somewhat swallowed whole by the sheer brilliance of the first couple of songs. There’s still plenty to pique the interest – the twin parts of epic ‘Love Like a Sunset’, the restless ‘Lasso’ and the slinky ‘Armistice’- and in fairness, the seven tracks make for a strong half an album on their own. It’s hard, though, to not just keep returning to tracks 1 and 2.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Lisztomania – 4:08
2. 1901 – 3:13
3. Fences – 3:45
4. Love Like a Sunset – 7:39
5. Lasso – 2:48
6. Rome – 4:38
7. Countdown – 3:57
8. Girlfriend – 3:24
9. Armistice – 3:05
Listen to ‘Lisztomania’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BJDNw7o6so