- Release year:
It’s been four years since Paris, France quartet Phoenix released Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an album that earned them a more mainstream listener base and a GRAMMY for Best Alternative Music Album. In a May 21st interview with Last.fm the band attributed the wait to the extensive touring they did promoting 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and the two years of writing and producing Bankrupt! - the band’s latest album. The title suggests Phoenix has no more to offer, but not so!
Bankrupt! strays away from the polished, pure pop feel of its predecessor. This collection is rich in heart-pounding bass synthesizer, while its light airy keys and mellow falsetto notes from vocalist Thomas Mars promise to keep you dancing. Unexpected tempo changes in songs like “Don’t” and heavily saturated instrumentals and a horrible table saw sound in “S.O.S in Bel Air” create a rather confusing and annoying listening experience on some tracks.
Standing out most on the album, in my opinion, is “Bourgeois”; perhaps best described as the slow song we can all relate to where we finally work up the courage to ask that special someone we have had our eye on if they would like to have this dance. This seems fitting, as “Bourgeois” is the second-last song on the 10-track album. All in all, Bankrupt! sees Phoenix go for broke with a new level of experimentation not seen on the band’s previous releases. Some songs just don’t seem to work, but there is overall value to the album.