Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Studio Album by released in 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix's tracklist:
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Love Like A Sunset
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Countdown (Sick For The Big Sun)
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Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix review

Phoenix is paying respect to classical music

Though Phoenix has often been compared to and blamed for copying such crews as The Strokes, The Hives, Jet, or Air, they proved to be better than this. After the enormous success of the 2006’s tremendous It’s Never Been Like That, when it seemed impossible to surpass it, now the band has massacred all of the most stubborn skeptics. Its new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix may be actually called its second career defining album. Philippe Zdar, who is famous for his work in the house-project Cassius has produced the album. Obviously, it is him who is to be thanked for lightness, manysideness and rhythm. As the band members themselves say the previous record It’s Never Been Like That was more of the Berlin-rock style. Yet while recording this album, they were totally open for anything new. It is not surprising: having started recording Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix on a boat, they managed to set the frame for the whole album. We can even suppose that Phoenix is paying respect to classical music, because the album title bears in itself an allusion to the name of the famous Austrian composer Mozart, while the first track alludes to the Hungarian Ferenz Liszt. Nevertheless, this French indie-quartet has managed to get rid of the “one hit artist” image, and its 4th studio record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has proven it brilliantly.

A back-to-the-start atmosphere on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The record has a back-to-the-start atmosphere. It opens with the buoyant Lisztomania track, where Tomas Mars sings about the relationships that are based on the feeling of necessity rather than the romantic spell. The sound filled with warmth is accompanied by great guitar riffs and an inspiring rhythm. The following track 1901 is definitely doomed to become a hit. The song is obviously influenced by the dance floor hits of the 1980’s; it profitably blends the bright ringing of the electric guitar with Mars’s sweetly-voluminous voice. Synthesizer stabs create a familiar pop-dance style in a new interpretation. The Smooth slow-disco Fences fluently flows into even smoother Love Like A Sunset, which ends with a tremendous guitar solo. Lasso starts with a percussion solo that sets the rhythm for the whole composition as if dragging in the electro-guitar, thus sustaining the wider sense of the song – the metaphoric comparison of the relationship with a Lasso. The lyrics of the track Rome create links between the relationship’s downfall and the Great Empire’s collapse. The unconquered crescendo together with the royal keyboards of the composition Countdown and instrumentally-blazing Girlfriend give a breezy and inspiring feeling. The final track, Armistice, with its grand synths wrapped up in a disco-beat, closes the record on that high note, on which Lisztomania has opened it.

Being the masters of form, Phoenix did not lose the contents

It would be rather easy to relate Phoenix to the imitators of various bands and trends at the very dawn of their creative formation, when all it had in store were only a couple of hits together with a cool outfit – leather jackets and sunglasses. The new record is literally full of the potential hits. Could those 4 best friends even dream of it at the age of 13 when all they longed for during the classes was to run home and play their music? Despite the fact that they were born in France, a country far from being a rock-stars motherland, they have one thing that the others lack – an almost inborn ability to create the ideal form. Their music is well-balanced to the smallest details – the instruments do not clash with the voice, which in its turn complements the sound and delivers the unique atmosphere of unconstraint lightness. Being the masters of form, Phoenix did not lose the contents – the lyrics are French-like exquisite and picturesque. It’s not that easy to remain an indie-band singing songs about love if you don’t have anything behind it. its own sound and its own place in the history of the world music.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (01.06.2009)
Rate review4.64
Total votes - 109