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Like A Phoenix, Rising From Arizona

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

I actually downloaded this album a while ago, about a week before it was released on CD, it just never quite felt like the right time to review it.  Anyway, Phoenix’s last album really left an impact on me, so I was awaiting this one with a certain amount of anticipation.  I think I showed them to John about a year ago when we were driving to Central for a weekend, but I’d be surprised if he remembered that.

These French rockers’ 2006 release, It’s Never Been Like That was somewhat of a breakthrough for them.  It saw them redefining there signature dance-pop sound that likened them to fellow Frenchmen Daft Punk and Air, and creating a more guitar heavy sound with some of their most superbly-crafted pop songs yet.  
This newest outing from Phoenix sees them utilizing the same kind of sound, but this time traces of their electronic influences have reemerged on songs like the groovetastic “Fences”. There’s a very clean and bouncy rhythmic quality to all the guitar and drum work as well as the vocal melodies.  There’s also some nice, crisp layers of synthesizers on songs like “1901” and “Girlfriend” that see Phoenix returning to a bit more of a dance-oriented sound, while sounding more confident than ever.
So basically with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix continuing to turn out their same catchy brand of pop-rock.  And though it doesn’t break a whole lot of new ground for them, it shows them refining their sound as well as composing some of their most indelibly catchy material to date.
Favorite Tracks: “1901”, “Fences”, “Lasso”


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