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4.7 out of 5 stars130
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on February 18, 2014
I, like many people first discovered this amazing duo when I heard their song "Fall In Love" on satellite radio. It was such a different yet familiar and beautiful sound. The song intrigued me enough to look up the group. The female lead, Sarah Barthel has one of the sexiest voices in music today. My friend told me about their Nightlife EP and the sleeper hit from it "Don't Move" and I was even more intrigued. So I look into their debut album "Eyelid Movies" and preview their lead single from that album, "When I'm Small" which is recently becoming the theme song for Gillette fusion commercials. Then I listened to the Nightlife EP a few times and liked it, but only two songs really excited me. I decided to order their debut album to prepare me for the release of this album. I ended up loving the album so much. I was also surprised to know that the male part of the group, Josh Carter, who produces the music too, also sings very well and sometimes sing raps hauntingly. At this time the song "Bill Murray" from this album was released and I couldn't have been more excited. Now the album is finally here, and after a few listens, I can say with confidence that this is one of my favorites now. Here is a track by track review.

1. Nothing But Trouble: This song was also released prior to the albums release. I immediately compared the industrial sound of it to Nine Inch Nails but with female vocals. The vocals took some getting used to at first because I was so used to the delicious vocals from "Fall in Love". The song seriously gets better with multiple listens. A great song to add to your work out routine and for cardio. A great industrial start to the album. 9.5/10
2. Black Out Days: Another song released prior to the album. This was more of the beautiful sound heard from the debut album but more advanced. Very beautiful. The sounds heard in the song are just delicious. Josh Carter did extra great work on this track with production. The chorus was annoying at first to me, but it got infectious with multiple listens. Another good song to add to your work out. 9.5/10
3. Fall In Love: This song. The song that had heads turning and many converted into instant fans. This song is also getting really popular and might be their first big hit, which I hope happens! I know it will! The production combined with the perfectly infectious vocals. I can't even muster how perfect this song is. The chorus is amazing and never gets old. Good song for almost any setting whether you're single or taken. ALSO another good work out song. 11.5/10
4. Never Going Home: My friend told me this song reminded him of Phil Collins before I got to listen to it. That is a good comparison. Very relaxing. Definitely a song to listen to at night while taking in the scene wherever you are. The lyrics sound sad but uplifting at the same time. The vocals are by the male part of the group, who shows off more of his singing ability. There are parts where he and Sarah sing together and it works very well. Another song that gets better with each listen. This could be a single. Beautiful song. 10/10
5. The Day You Died: The guitars hooked me in right away. This song sounds like it could've been on Paramores self titled album! I mean that in a good way. The chorus was okay for me for Phantogram standards. It is good, but it'll take a few listens for me to get used to it. But the guitars are immediately infectious which is the reason I keep coming back to this song. Sarah does show off her sexy moans in the song though. Also good for your work out. 9/10
6. Howling At The Moon: The beginning mislead me. But then the beat comes in. A great beat which is what Phantogram is known for. Mixing hip hop/trip hop with beautiful vocals. The song was about to be miss for me vocally at first before the chorus kicked it. Very pumping and infectious guitar led chorus! I'll still have to get used to the verses. They are good, but the chorus is the true show stealer of this song. Again, good for the work out! 9.5/10
7. Bad Dreams: I really liked the verses of the song right away. Then I heard the chorus. At first I thought it was very annoying. But after many listens, I actually really liked the chorus. Especially with the production of the song. I mostly said it was annoying at first just to annoy my friend who said he didn't like the previous song. But I actually can't deny how sexy the chorus is! Josh also creeps in the background with his 'twirling' and infectious guitars as well. 9.5/10
8. Bill Murray: I honestly didn't think it was possible to produce such beautiful and sexy music as heard on this song. The production, the vocals, the lyrics. Everything is perfect in this song. The choir sound of the chorus almost reminds me of the soundtrack to "Home Alone". I know that sounds corny, but if you go watch Home Alone right now and listen to the chorus of this song you'll know what I mean! This might be one of the greatest songs ever written or recorded. If officially released as a single I strongly demand this as a Grammy contender for Song/Record of the Year. (Wishful thinking). 15/10
9. I Don't Blame You: Its impossible to follow a song like "Bill Murray". But this song does a good job trying. Another song vocally lead by Josh. The production is solid as always and the chorus is catchy. At first I thought the chorus was too stale, but it actually gets infectious and stuck in your head! Truthfully its really hard to listen to this song and fully appreciate it right after the masterpiece song that preceded it! Still a great song though. The production is very unique too! 9.5/10
10. Celebrating Nothing: The title sounds like it would be a depressing song. But this very upbeat. The beat and synths flow together so well. The vocals and lyrics have radio potential all over it. Probably the most 80s retro sounding song on the album! Good song. 9/10
11. My Only Friend: After the mostly perfect album, I was expecting not much from the closer. But this was actually a great great and haunting yet beautiful song. The song builds up with its great production. Not as good a closer as "10,000 Claps" from the debut album, but still a great song. Very textured. I just think "Bill Murray" would've been the best choice to end the album with perfectly. But I'm not complaining. Still a great end to the album which leaves me wanting more! 9.5/10

So this album was consistently great. There are no fillers. Each song is a gem. The replay value is high. After listening to the album a few times in order, I find the best thing to do is to put the album on shuffle to give it more variety. It works. This album is just pure and good modern music. I expect to see this album winning awards as well. Lets just hope they don't wait 5 more years to release another one! If I had one thing to suggest to make this nearly perfect album even better, it would be to include more songs with Josh on vocals or even duets. Maybe on future albums hopefully. If you like good indie electronic music with great vocals and nice hip hop inspired beats, then this is a great album for you. If you want something new and different and great, then this album is great for you. If you like good music, then this album is...you guessed it. Worth a purchase!
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on February 19, 2014
Phantogram could've very easily gotten lost in the massive wave of boy/girl electronic duos that made their way into our ears since 2009. They've rode the wave along with bands like The Bird and the Bee, Matt and Kim, Chairlift, and Sleigh Bells into that hip hop-inflected indie dance pop that was either catchy or grating. Fortunately for Phantogram they are blessed with the amazing voice of Sarah Barthel and the studio prowess of Josh Carter. They're unique in a sea of many interesting but not necessarily long lasting bands. Their 2009 full-length debut was a rather breathtaking album filled with rough-around-the-edges pop tracks hidden under electronic beats and at times an industrial roughness that made you think you were hearing something more than just electronic pop. Barthel's voice is what made that album so unique, while Carter's programming and studio expertise made the beats more than just cookie cutter loops run through some Pro Tools plug-in. Eyelid Movies felt organic, not processed. Four years and one e.p. later Barthel and Carter have returned with a polished piece of electro/industrial pop gold called Voices. While not as sublime and dark as it's predecessor, Voices builds on Phantogram's strengths: Sarah Barthel and those beats.

Right out of the gate "Nothing But Trouble" comes roaring out of the speakers, all studio shine and spit-polished. There's no mistaking Barthel's voice, for sure. But there's something a little stale about the beat. Nothing distinguishable from any other electronic band playing on internet radio. Mid-song Carter comes in with some guitar work that is reminiscent of classic 80s Cure and brings the song up a few notches. We then go right into the club banger "Black Out Days" that seems to want to be some sort of radio hit. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. It just sorta goes through the motions. Decent enough, but as one 80's commercial pondered, "Where's the beef?" The answer is "Fall In Love", a soul-inflected track that reminds the listener why Phantogram is so great. All the elements are there, popping and clicking. Now we're talking. Barthel's ethereal voice floats above the excellent programming. This is 21st century pop music at it's finest. Catchy, yet still interesting and new to the ears. Hello, Phantogram. "Never Going Home Again" sounds like a b-side from Phil Collins' No Jacket Required, with Carter singing and giving us something to savor and reminisce with at the same time. This is the kind of track that would've been a huge radio hit in 1985. Sadly, neither pop music or radio exist like this anymore.

Okay, so pretty much after the first two songs this album kicks into gear and becomes this massive record filled with ear candy and interesting production. "The Day You Died" is big and emotional with a chorus that soars. "Howling At The Moon" brings back some of that weirdness Eyelid Movies delivered in spades. You'll be cranking this and blowing the speakers in your Camry for sure. "Bill Murray" is sublime. A beautiful ballad that should be playing at the coolest proms on the planet this spring. "My Only Friend" closes this record out on a melancholy note. Much like Eyelid Movies excellent closer "10,000 Claps", "My Only Friend" is proof of the power in Sarah Barthel's sweet, beautiful, and longing voice. The production is 80s-centric reverbed beats and hand claps. It's perfect.

Voices continues what Eyelid Movies started, with better production and bigger choruses. While there have been some really great and interesting guy/gal duos over the last few years, Phantogram have proven they've got staying power. They've got the beats. They've got the voice. They've got the songs.
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on February 22, 2014
I'm a huge fan of Phantogram's first album, so to say I was excited about their follow-up would be an understatement. Overall, I consider this to be a strong album, although not as strong as their first. As others have noted, their sound on this album sounds more calculated and produced. And there seems to be overall less emotion than on Eyelid Movies.

However....the vinyl pressing of this album is excellent!!! Vinyl usually reveals more details in songs when compared to MP3 versions, but Voices on vinyl makes all the tracks sound noticeably better. They wisely chose to press this on a 45rpm LP, and the resulting clarity and bass response made the album much more enjoyable for me. If you have the system and the cash, get this one on vinyl!
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VINE VOICEon April 12, 2014
I first became aware of Phantogram in 2009 when they played a small music club in St. Louis called "The Firebird". The duo had energetic vocals and live performance. The lead singer reminded me of a cross between Louise Brooks and Crissy Hind. Her vocal range is great, and she has a stage presence and sincerity lacking in many of her contemporaries. The whole audience was charmed. Flash forward to 2014, and the band has a newer, lusher and slicker album called "Voices" and they are playing much larger venues like the "The Pageant" in St. Louis. In spite of this, they have kept their warm stage presence and ability to engage an audience. The writing is just as good-even better! Though a bit slicker. I enjoy that Josh Carter is doing more vocals in this new release. See them in concert if they are near your city or town. Buy this album if you like Sonic Youth, AIR, or old school Pretenders, Concrete Blonde, Cocteau Twins or even Sterolab.
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on March 31, 2014
Great snyths and beats. Excellent vocals and addictive hooks. Every track on this album is good. I usually listen to this cd while I am drawing and it really gets my creative juices going. If you like Metric, the XX, and Glitch Mob you may like this album alot. But don't be fooled this bad has a style all the own, this two person band does it all, the play instruments and they both sing and sing really good. The album kicks off with the haunting Nothing but Trouble to the even more eerie and intense Black Out Days to the very upbeat sounding and pulse pounding Fall in Love, to the saddeing Howl at the Moon and deep meaning Futuristic Casket. This album is worth the money in spades. Who says you need huge production values and a million hands in the cookie jar to make a good album? These two get it and they do it better than most. A must buy and a must own.
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on April 8, 2015
The music and lyrics on this album are so catchy and beautiful...even my kids ask to play this album while in the car!!! Heard this group by channel surfing and found them singing on the AUDIENCE channel, on Guitar Sessions!!! Glad I stopped and listened, I immediately bought the CD off Amazon! This music rocks!!
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on February 18, 2014
After hearing Phantogram's first album, Eyelid Movies, I was instantly hooked. Their sophomore effort, Voices, is even better. Sarah's dark, ethereal vocals are both calming and eerie. The music is beyond phenomenal. Any fan of electro/synth pop will immediately fall in love with the catchy beats and atmospheric, ambient tracks.
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on November 30, 2014
If you already like Phantogram then this title is a sure thing. If you have never heard of Phantogram then some of the songs will sound familiar from commercial sound bites. They are different from mainstream pop in a positive way and this title hones their craft to a new level. They have the same tools in voice and instrumentation but have upped the level of refinement on some tracks and sonic complexity on other tracks. The added Digital Booklet is nice as an electronic version of the CD jacket-booklet.
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on February 19, 2014
I really couldn't say enough good things about this album. They have taken the formula that made Eyelid Movies so successful and have upped the ante for sure. I can't wait to see them live again so that I can hear these songs in action.
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on March 21, 2015
I first heard Phantogram live on KEXP. I love their sound. The CD was even more enjoyable. I was surprised to hear "Fall in Love" on the musak speakers at work because I thought really good music wasn't played on musak.
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