Thursday, April 16, 2009
Rising from the Ashes: Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus
Following the epic success of 2006's It's Never Been Like That, the French pop band is back with a new record and the same old lovable sound. Make no mistake: this record doesn't forge any new ground for the band, or music at large. Rather, it takes what their last effort did (hands down their best album to date in my opinion) and pushes it even further. In fact, many critics will probably call this record an afterthought companion piece to their last effort, to which I couldn't agree more. But much like when The Strokes followed up Is This It with Room On Fire, you don't hear me complaining!
Frankly, I wish more bands would do this: find a sound that works, then write as many songs as they can in that vein. Sure, it becomes humdrum after a while, but the key is to never let it get to that point. The Strokes were wise. Though their 3rd effort didn't hold a candle to either of their first two records, they would have only faced backlash had they done the same thing again. Critics are fickle bitches: they want you to replicate the exact same sound they loved so much without it becoming mundane or overdone. This is a very hard task to live up to, so let's hope Phoenix takes that cue and mixes it up next time around. Knowing how well they produce pop music (both the band and their label Astralwerks), the only place they can go is airborne. And maybe I've hit on something there as a collaboration with fellow-Astralwerks-artists Air could yield some awesome results.
Either way, this record is a great listen, and only leaves you wanting more. My suggestion: put the disc on repeat that way you don't have to get up. Or better yet: use your iphone remote and just start it from the top, as you sit on your couch, immersed in table wine and Camembert cheese.