Is The New Phoenix CD, Bankrupt!, THE SHIT or Just Shit?

2009's Wolfgang Amadeus was a pleasant surprise; a collection of tightly arranged hook-filled songs that managed to breathe some much-needed humanity into a midi-controlled world.

With 2013's long-awaited follow-up, Bankrupt!, now unleashed upon the world, Phoenix stand on the precipice between "up-and-coming indie act" and "major artist".  How this new album is received will no doubt tilt the scale in one direction or the other.

It's only a matter of time before album-opener "Entertainment" appears in a commercial for a cute new eco-car or maybe a Kindle that runs on happy thoughts.  While the song is pleasant enough, an entire album of songs seemingly created to whet the appetite of a few pivotal music supervisors seems a tiresome proposition.  Thankfully, the aplty-named "The Real Thing" arrives like a welcome summer breeze on a perfect day.  That's the song the band (and label) should be focusing on!

The band mixes brittle synth lines with understated vocal hooks that almost timidly impose their presence upon you.  In a lot of ways, the band shares a certain sonic territory with the more popular Foster The People, but its Phoenix who bring the goods with songs that aren't so much a product of modern production techniques as a timeless celebration of youth and summer and song.


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