Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix …enough said


Yes, yes, yes. YES. Where the hell did this come from? Since as far back as I can remember (United in 2000 included), I’ve been putting Phoenix tracks on my friends’ mixtapes, thinking of them as one of those great indie unknowns (in the States at least), save for one of their tracks, “Too Young”, which was featured on Lost in Translation back in ’03. You’d think the Frenchmens’ poppy, catchy, accented music would’ve earned them a huge following, but alas, that hardly occurred. Until now.

With Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix have become the hottest band (Grizzly Bear included) in the “indie” world (and beyond…SNL appearances, etc.), and rightfully so. When “1901” was released on Phoenix’s website (smartest marketing ever), blogs went crazy (KR included), and this was SEVERAL months before Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was even scheduled to hit the light of day. Well, that light of day has finally come for the physical release, and without trying to regurgitate what everyone else is already thinking, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is nothing short of brilliant.

I write this review brimming with happiness. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times over I’ve listened to this album – most songs are flawless pop gems, with “Lisztomania” heading that group and “Rome” coming in a close second. But really, it’s unfair to rank them, as each song has its own unfathomably catchy rhythm that they all qualify for listen upon listen upon listen. They even throw in some experimental ambience with “Love Like A Sunset”. This time around, Phoenix have completely outdone their previous work on a record chock full of hits that can stand on their own, yet also bring the album together into one cohesive whole, showcasing Phoenix’s ability to work for casual listeners as well as the most musically inclined.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix definitely doesn’t skimp on the production and electronic value, but it works because they play such upbeat crowd-pleasers that it sounds perfectly natural. The synths and heavy riffs are what make this album such a quick “wow,” but Thomas Mars’ vocals are the backbone to the sound. Without his high pitched, effortless delivery of the fast-paced verses, the band becomes just a nice background sound. But Mars kills it on this album. He knocks you to the ground and dares you to get up and face his power punch of a voice. And that’s just how I like the best album of this year and all of last year. Congratulations, Phoenix. You have truly made an epic record.

Phoenix – “Lisztomania” [MP3]

Phoenix – “Rome” [MP3]

Phoenix – “Lasso” [MP3]

Purchase Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

2 comments to Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix …enough said

  • liz

    I’m sitting in Boston’s intl airport waiting for my connection and I’m feeling very sorry that I didn’t pick up this album before commencing my travels. Ah, but I have something to look forward to once I’m settled. Great review, lee. Well done.

    Lee Reply:

    Thanks Liz!