Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)

Phoenix is a rock band from Versailles, France, consisting of Thomas Mars, Deck d’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the fourth studio album by French indie pop band Phoenix. It was released on 25 May 2009 by V2 Records. While the band’s previous work enjoyed a moderate underground following, the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix drew the attention of a more mainstream audience. In the US, Phoenix began a promotional tour including performances on several late night talk shows. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix continued to gain momentum with the increased exposure of the tour. The album had the critics’ attention, and despite a slow climb in alternative music charts it eventually reached the top 10 for the year. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix earned the band a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards held on 31 January 2010.

Realigned with Philippe Zdar, the half of Cassius who mixed United, Phoenix make adjustments on the polarizing characteristics of their second and third albums — the pokey and occasionally listless Alphabetical, the jagged and tune-deficient It’s Never Been Like That — with some of the most direct and enjoyable songs they’ve made to date. The two opening songs, the bopping “Lisztomania” and the buzzing “1901,” are so immediate and prone to habitual play that the remainder of the album is bound to be neglected. There is plenty to like beyond that point, including “Lasso,” which niftily alternates between a tangled rhythm and tight-spiral riffing, and the labyrinthine “Pt. 1” of “Love Like a Sunset,” which serves the same purpose as the extended instrumental passages on Roxy Music‘s Avalon, at least until its rousing conclusion and shift into “Pt. 2.” Beyond containing the band’s best, most efficient songwriting, the album also stands apart from the first three studio albums by projecting a cool punch that is unforced. Vocalist Thomas Mars, more bright-eyed and youthful than ever, also sounds more a part of these songs, rather than coming across as a protruding element that clashes against the instruments. Maybe they’ve just hit their stride.

Tracklist

1. “Lisztomania” – 4:08
2. “1901” – 3:13
3. “Fences” – 3:45
4. “Love Like a Sunset (Part I)” – 5:39
5. “Love Like a Sunset (Part II)” – 1:57
6. “Lasso” – 2:48
7. “Rome” – 4:38
8. “Countdown” – 3:57
9. “Girlfriend” – 3:24
10. “Armistice” – 3:05

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: 25 May 2009
Recorded: 2008 Studio, Motorbass Studio (Paris, France)
Genre: Indie pop, synthpop, new wave
Length: 37:02

Label – V2, Loyauté, Cooperative Music

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