Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
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Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix EP
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It helps in assessing the roots of WAP, their fourth album, to look back across Phoenix's discography. United (2000) was a bizarre yet pleasing amalgamation of insanely catchy pop gems, dark bluesy instrumentals, hollering garage rock, and smooth downtempo. (Interestingly, their "Too Young" single, from United, was featured in the night-on-the-town apartment scene in Lost in Translation; this was America's first real taste of Phoenix.) By contrast, their second album, Alphabetical (2004), had a far more cohesive sound: its synth-y, finger-tapping indie pop made for a crisp, solid album. Listening to Alphabetical, you likely thought, "Wow, Phoenix have really come into their own since United!Read more ›
The one-two punch of first single "Lisztomania" and "1901" that opens the record is the kind of combo that could prevent the rest of the album from being heard. Both are bouncy slices of indie rock guaranteed to get feet tapping: "Lisztomania" rides a jittery beat and vocalist Thomas Mars' oscillating vocals to a chorus perfectly memorable and perfectly simple, while "1901" mixes buzzing synths with a jangly chorus and a Mars' echoing refrain of "fallin'" that begs to be sung along to.
Previous listeners of Phoenix will find little difference initially between Wolfgang and their 2006 work, It's Never Been Like That. While most of Wolfgang retains Phoenix's relentless energy and effervescent melodies, the album as a whole feels more fleshed out, more organic sounding than INBLT, which at times sounded mechanical and clashing. "Fences" switches between a down-tempo disco groove and Mars' falsetto verses to a keyboard-heavy chorus with yet another on-the-money chorus, while on a song like "Lasso," Mars sounds more focused and natural than ever before, his habit of over-enunciating lessened and his versatile range exploited nicely.Read more ›
This album exemplifies a very extraordinary talent of meshing all kinds of different instruments, both string and electronic together, and having what comes out not become an indiscernible mess of noise. As an example "Rome" which uses both slow and fast tempo interludes really capture the essence of the album. They are a French band, but you wouldn't know it by listening to Thomas Mars' effortless serenades. It's hard to compare his style, but it is reminiscent of Incubus' Brandon Boyd or The Strokes' Julian Casablancas, it just flows with the music. What is a rather remarkable feat is that they don't actually have a drummer in the band, but Thomas Hedlund apparently fills for their live gigs along with another blonde headed guy that I do not know the name of. For their album I am not sure who plays, but I'm guessing Hedlund did, he is a very impressive talent.
I had the chance to see them in Austin at a small venue just as they were hitting their stride on the U.S. music charts, at a sold out Stubb's. The concert did not disappoint, this band is just as good (if not better) live than they are on album. Their passion really shows on the stage even while touring, as they really get into the music and truly enjoy being creative. It is by far the best concert I've seen if you are into alternative rock.
Honestly, give this album quite a few listens, and focus on all of the separate things going on and you can truly appreciate the musical talent to create some of their titles.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my favorite Phoenix album by far. The album is one of the very few records I can listen through it's entirety.Published 3 months ago by Wil Pharaoh
Pretty good indie that reminds me of Modest Mouse meets the Killers! Ten brief tracks with one instrumental! Thanx!Published 3 months ago by Samuel E. Smith
great songs, pressing is defective, but thats what happens sometimes. Fences has a skip towards the endPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very upbeat album. Great vinyl sounds so clear. I am very pleased :-)!Published 5 months ago by Liana Lopez
The track kept skipping and it's not my record player all my other viynls work fine.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer