Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From the Pile: Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Notice how Molly Ringwald's attire/dance moves would totally be passable at a Brooklyn loft party circa 2009?

Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was released yesterday. They sent us a copy a couple of weeks ago, and I've been listening to it fairly consistently ever since. Haruch and I had planned to run a handful of two-sentence reviews on recent and forthcoming releases in this week's dead-tree edition, but his rapidly increasing chub for locals Bows and Arrows came to full fruition over the weekend, and he decided to write a piece on them instead. Not a bad call. As you'd no doubt assume, the two sentences I'd constructed in regard to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix were pure genius. But alas, I failed to save them on this here computing machine, so I'm going to have to reach into the recesses of my brain and recreate the review to the best of my ability. Here we go:

Artist: Phoenix

Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Label: Loyauté/Glassnote

Like Of Montreal's recent material (with a keener knack for accessibility) or Empire of the Sun (with a slightly lesser dependence on electronic instrumentation), Phoenix's latest falls into an ostensibly under-populated genre: good, intricate pop. With the exception of two instrumental tracks planted in the middle of the album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is made up of consistently engaging vocal hooks, playful guitars and keys and up-tempo grooves. The lyrics are occasionally a tiny bit vapid, but not distractingly so. Besides, English isn't their first language, and nobody in their right mind listens to French pop/indie rock/electronica for the inspiring lyrics. It's a consistent, gripping record and easily one of the strongest efforts I've heard thus far in '09. Doesn't look like you can catch them in Nashville any time soon, but they'll be playing Bonnaroo's This Tent at 11:30 p.m., June 12. RIYL: Of Montreal, MGMT, Air, Daft Punk, Empire of the Sun, Hot Chip.

Rating: 8.5/10

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