April 13, 2009

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)

The fact that I sent a mass email to QuickCritters asking for dibs on this review is a testament to how awesome Phoenix's new album is. Lame album art and title aside, it's pretty much been on repeat and is tied for the #1 release for 2009 (thus far) with Harlem Shakes' Technicolor Health. It seriously is my musical equivalent to puppy dogs, ice cream, and ticker tape parades for everyone!

A couple of fun facts: They're from Versailles, France (lucky bastards), the lead singer is Sofia Coppola's life partner, they have musical affiliations with Air and Daft Punk, and did I mention they're French? Mais oui, ils sont tres chouette!

The album: It's fun, upbeat, relaxing, smooth/easy vocals, there's pretty much a song on here to fit any mood you're in. When I heard their first single "1901" (free download here), I literally couldn't calm down... or sit still. It's so vibrant and danceable, which means it's slightly dangerous for driving music since keeping hold of the 10-2 position is damn near impossible. Or maybe that's just me?

Some shared feedback: "Lizstomania" is, as a trusted music friend described it, the kind of song that makes him want to "jump over a rainbow and swim in the pot of gold on the other side," whereas I feel it'd be the perfect song to be featured in a remake of Duck Tales: The Movie (here's hoping?) during a scene where Uncle Scrooge is happily swimming in his money bin. Then, regarding the Harlem Shakes vs. Phoenix album debate, awmercy said he preferred Harlem Shakes' album on an overall basis since "some of the Phoenix songs are great, others are just okay, although it does seem to hold together as an album." I definitely concur. However, since I think BOTH are great I just can't seem to pick between the two. They played SNL the other week and sounded pretty effin fantastic live, making them #1 on my musical must-see list for the summer.

My favorites: "1901," "Rome," "Lizstomania," "Lasso," and "Fences," but the entire album deserves multiple listens. Not because it's a grower, but because you may get hooked after the first listen. I sure as hell did.


Mona said...

Some afterthoughts:
-Harlem Shakes and Phoenix's albums are almost too different to compare, but I do think the HS album has, like, no bad songs, where Phoenix has some so-so ones on here

-Also, "Girlfriend" is such a cool song, but does anyone else think it kinda/sorta makes no sense on this album? It's the only dark and moody track. Everything else was so upbeat!?

Nightrain said...

I was wondering when this was going to be posted... I am, at this very second, listening to "Lisztomania."

Anyway, nice review.

Mona said...

Hahaha, I needed some time to calm down. That's hysterical, I just finished listening to it.

I would've posted their SNL performance on youtube, but they were taken down. It was so cute, they counted down "un, deux, trois" before playing :)

awmercy said...

"Lizstomania" and "1901" make a for a pretty kick ass 1-2 combo.

ancientindianwizard said...

I love this album so much it hurts.. I even love the album art!

Mona said...

Hey AIW, where have you been!? You gonna post some of your recent favs? Haha about digging the cover. See, this is why I think we should do a post on album cover preferences... we'd clearly get a variety of responses.

ancientindianwizard said...

I'm trying to get back on my game.. Several self imposed QC deadlines have come an gone. I'll try to get something going soon!

As a sidenote I started "writing" a review for this album in my head last friday night while a bit tipsy. It started out "If this album had come out during my senior year of college I would have been ruined"... From there it turned into a discussion about sweaters and button up shirts. I'm not entirely sure of the meaning behind the "college" line but I think it's safe to say Mona's review is more helpful.

awmercy said...

Mona's may be more informative, but that's an intriguing opening line.

Mona said...

AIW, I hear you. I always have QC ideas in my head, but I'm not as consistent in getting my thoughts down like awmercy and even NT.

Wow, that is a crazy opening line. If we had discussed your thoughts pre-review, I would have gladly shared your feedback here too. Why don't you still post your review anyway? An album as good as this allows for such a thing!

Mona said...

Not to mention, a dual review is unprecedented and you'll make QuickCrit history! haha