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Bankrupt! [Deluxe Edition]

4.1 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 23, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

The deluxe CD which features a bonus disc that has in total 71 demos & sketches. The bonus disc is be a full hour of extras.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23, 2013)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Glassnote
  • ASIN: B00BDSRER0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: MP3 Music
Everyone's favorite alternative pop band from Versailles, France returns to the scene with a new album!

"Bankrupt!" by Phoenix is good, though it is in the precarious position of having to follow up their amazing 2009 "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" album. Unfortunately, Bankrupt is no Wolfgang Amadeus, and none of the songs quite reach the caliber of hits such as "1901" or "Lisztomania". That's not to say this is a bad album, not by any means, but if you were expecting bigger and better, well you might want to adjust your expectations a bit because you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Phoenix claims that "Bankrupt!" is an experimental album, but I think that's a bit of a hyperbole as aside from an adjustment of some synths, everything is essentially similar. Upon listening to the album's tracks for the first time, the songs that definitely stand out are "Trying to Be Cool" and "Bourgeois". Those two songs in particular have that amazing synth heavy sound that is sure to please long-time fans of Phoenix. After multiple listens, you will start to pick up on the nuances of some of the other songs as well, but not quite on the level of "Trying to Be Cool" or "Bourgeois".

"SOS in Bel-Air", "Drakkar Noir", "Chloroform" and "Don't" are pleasing songs but nothing that really stays stuck in your head. It's not necessarily hit and miss, it's just good and that's it. There is a BIG BIG miss on the album though that is worth mentioning and that is the title track "Bankrupt!". I don't know what the band was going for with this song, but the whole track just feels disjointed and directionless. It starts out strong and then just peters out into nothingness. Before you know it, the song has ended and track 6 starts playing.
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Format: Audio CD
For what its worth, it would be tough for anyone to meet or exceed the expectations set for Phoenix. The band is coming off of its wonderful 2009 release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. The album was a critical and commercial success -- it was popular on a mass scale with the hit singles "Lisztomania" and "1901", and it scored well with indie hipsters. The album was indie-rock at its core, but it was polished and waxed with a nice French New Wave coating. The marriage of this melodic songwriting and stylish electronic music made for a record that was unmistakably cool. Because Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is so well regarded, the music community has been chomping at the bit for their followup. Four years later, and here it is: 2013's Bankrupt!

Phoenix's formula is largely unchanged from its last album -- the band writes alternative/indie songs and coats them in stylish electronic percussion and synth. Bankrupt! differs in a few ways from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix though. This record is a bit more experimental with its sounds, and the band takes its time developing grooves this time around. Where Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was largely to-the-point and concise, Bankrupt! allows itself to briefly. Make no mistake, these songs are all crafted as pop songs, but their sound is more multidimensional on this record. The band, when promoting the album, warned that it would be "experimental." For the most part though, this music is unmistakably Phoenix.

The album begins with its lead single, "Entertainment." The song centers around an Eastern-themed motif played out on the synthesizer, and while the song itself is quite good, this motif really annoys me.
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Format: Audio CD
I honestly first discovered this band from their previous landmark album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." They had this unique, yet familiar sound that was nearly irresistible. I even went back to their older albums to see what I missed out on. How their song "If I Ever Feel Better" wasn't a worldwide mega hit is beyond me! But again, Wolfgang seemed to be the bands magnum opus so far and people had very high expectations for what would follow. I did too, but I remembered that having expectations usually leads to letdowns. So I went into this new album "Bankrupt" with an open mind just so I could enjoy the music. It was just good to hear new music from "Phoenix"! They aren't the only French band who have been receiving some attention. "Daft Punk" have grown and grown in popularity with each year, and another awesome band is "M83" who is also gaining momentum. Now "Phoenix" is back in the spotlight too and hopefully this album helps them stay there. So here's a track by track breakdown.

1. Entertainment: The lead single off the album that most people have heard. It hasn't received the popularity that "1901" and "Lisztomania" did but I still loved the vibe of this song. The guitars and synths that the song revolves around sounds like a 80's song in Asia. You will hear a lot of sounds similar to the 80's era of music on this album. I always think of being in some big Asian city or Beach when listening to this song. Nice catchy song that grows with each listen.
2. The Real Thing: Nice groovy song all the way through. Though there isn't really a catchy hook, the song as a whole is beautiful. There are so many layers in this song you could miss out on depending on how you listen to it. The song ends abruptly though. Gets me every time.
3. S.O.S.
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