Phoenix – 'Bankrupt!' album review
Four years on, the French group seem to have lost the wow factor
Mon Apr 22 2013
Phoenix – 'Entertainment'
- Rated as: 3/5
Four years have passed since Phoenix released their Grammy-winning album, ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’. In that time, they’ve experimented with marimbas, eighteenth-century harpsichords, a toy keyboard and a custom-made guitar effects pedal. They wrote in a village in the middle of Australia, New York’s Chinatown and Montmartre, Paris, and spent $17,000 on Michael Jackson’s old mixing desk. It’s a lot of trouble to go to for an album that, ultimately, is missing the wow factor.
‘Bankrupt’ opens with excellent single, ‘Entertainment’ – an eruption of pounding drums and harmonic, Asian-influenced synths – but the rest of it is only good in parts. The title track, for instance, is four flat minutes of synth wig-out and a slow-building bass drum that never climaxes. ‘Drakkar Noir’ pairs Thomas Mars’s dreamy falsetto with a satisfying synthetic fluttering, while ‘SOS in Bel Air’s fluidity harks back to Phoenix’s earlier days as a straightforward indie guitar band. However, neither packs the punch of ‘Entertainment’. It sounds like the French foursome spent three-and-a-half years on that banger, while the other six months went
on the rest, which just fizzles out.
Watch Phoenix's 'Entertainment' video
Listen to 'Bankrupt!' on Spotify
After years of speculation and denial, Ride have finally reunited. Andy Bell and Mark Gardener tell us why they changed their minds
Internet prank, hipster art wank, or meta-pop genius? We investigate PC Music, the London clique shaking up the pop world
As iconoclastic, theatrical and gloriously unpredictable as ever, Iceland’s finest export tells us why she’s excited to headline Wilderness festival this August