Review - Phoenix's "Bankrupt!" - Bourgeois! | Music Review

Beauty and the Best

Review - Phoenix's "Bankrupt!" - Bourgeois!

For those of you longing to hear Phoenix's signature style after their extended absence, you will not be disappointed with "Bankrupt." While not as consistent as "Wolfgang Amadeus" (maybe their most consistent CD) or "United," this album has some good stuff. For example, you can easily listen to Bourgeois - the best song on the CD in my opinion - 50 times the first time you hear it and not get tired it. It's quintessential Phoenix. Nevertheless, I found myself having to chase the catchy hooks a little more this time around. It's a somewhat noisy outing with songs that contain some very interesting melodies and sounds, but they are often interspersed with other things that are not so interesting. For instance, at least two songs on the album - Entertainment and Trying to be Cool - are fantastic in the first 2/3s, but have finishes that don’t measure up to the rest of the song.The Real Thing is strong, with its addictive drum beat, evocative of Prince circa "When Doves Fly.” There is a strange Asian influence with these songs. I say strange because it's not true music from the Orient, but rather those cliched sounds we heard on 80's songs like The Vapors "Turning Japanese." And that's what it is - a reference to those type of pop songs.

Anyway, when you get to 1:13 in The Real Thing or 1:53 on Entertainment my qualms with an otherwise excellent CD will quickly disappear from your memory. This album gets a definite thumbs up from AGT.

Background: Phoenix is a French alternative rock band from Versailles, France, consisting of Thomas Mars (vocals), Deck d’Arcy (bass), Laurent Brancowitz (guitars) and Christian Mazzalai (guitars). In this author’s opinion, their best songs of all time are (not in order): 1) If I Ever Feel Better (I literally listened to this song for a year straight every time I got in my car), 2) Too Young, 3) Consolation Prizes, 4) Rally, 5) Lisztomania, 6) 1901, 7) Everything is Everything.

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