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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix - The "Go-to" band of smart synth-pop return
The grey clouds part, the chill has gone and the sound of summer has arrived. It is possible to play Phoenix's wonderful 2009 "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" until the grooves wear out and then get another copy and press repeat. This ever inventive French band produce smart, intelligent and finely constructed pop songs that soundtrack your highs and lows, but are especially...
Published 15 months ago by Red on Black

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad.....
Been listening to this for a while but don't feel it is as good as 'Wolfgang Amadeus' or 'It's Never Been Like That', both of which are well worth checking out.
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Paul Gage


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix - The "Go-to" band of smart synth-pop return, 22 April 2013
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Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bankrupt! (Audio CD)
The grey clouds part, the chill has gone and the sound of summer has arrived. It is possible to play Phoenix's wonderful 2009 "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" until the grooves wear out and then get another copy and press repeat. This ever inventive French band produce smart, intelligent and finely constructed pop songs that soundtrack your highs and lows, but are especially effective as the days draw out and the brighter sunsets beckon. They are a band so sure of themselves that their latest album which has been four years in the making is cheekily entitled "Bankrupt". On the evidence here the vaults remain full and for those who wish to completely overdose on a Phoenix extravaganza there is a deluxe edition of this new record that features 71 bonus tracks! It has been widely reported that they had intended to call this album "Ludwig Van Phoenix" to show a nod of continuity with its predecessor. Band leader Thomas Mars promised that the follow-up Bankrupt! would be more experimental and possibly ` psychedelic' there is however no sharp break here. Certainly the songs are generally denser and a bit more experimental, but the format follows the approach on WAP with largely 3 minute pop tracks hooked around a lengthy middle track. None of this serves to knock off the glossy pop sheen. Ironically the opener to the album "Entertainment" starts off with a slightly Oriental theme and then sounds in parts like the Strokes of old. Julian Casablancas has been raiding the sound of Phoenix for two albums so its only fitting that they repay the favour in this excellent lead single. More powerful songs follow with an immediate highlight the thudding "The Real Thing" which will undoubtedly be mixed to death on the internet. The lovely summer anthem "SOS in Bel Air" follows, granted the lyrics are hardly Shakespeare but it floats along nicely, much better is "Trying to be cool" which sounds like a potential disco anthem with its huge backbeat and bubbling synths.

The long title track is going to be pure marmite. Love or hate will follow as it takes the approach of "Love is like sunset" and is a French synth cocktail with a nod to Daft Punk infused with tinkling key boards, pounding bass and sonic waves of sounds that builds to a huge crescendo. It signals the second half of the album where despite some of the goodies which have gone before are to be located the best tracks. Instantly recognisable is the Gallic insouciance on display in the "Drakkir Noir" destined to be on a future Phoenix Greatest Hits album, somehow they then better this with the albums standout "Chloroform" packed full of an imposing synth wall of sound and Mars exhortation to "Buckle up, we'll chase each other/It's not a lot it's just enough to matter/Anyway you want the truth is/I will marry you on Tuesday". The penultimate track "Bourgeois" is almost a semi ballad and a superb pop song , while closer "Oblique city" may turn out to be the albums best track and begs the question is that the sound of some piano lines from Abba in the background?

If Phoenix have had a problem in their very long career it has often been an overdose of gigantic truckloads of singalong melodies which are almost relentless as traffic on the M25 ring road. Like "Wolfgang" this new album sees more structure and shape, but also a willingness to head off the beaten track when some experimentation adds to the sum of the parts. Granted "Bankrupt" is not a giant step from its mega selling predecessor that is a very hard act to follow. This leads to the inevitable recognition that on first listens it certainly doesn't top their finest moment. It is nevertheless a fine album and like all others in the Phoenix oeuvre its base square root is danceability and joie de vivre. "Bankrupt" cements the reputation of this great French band as the "go-to" band of anyone requiring a pop sensibility so clever it should be awarded an honorary degree. As such time to check out the deluxe edition!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad....., 18 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (Audio CD)
Been listening to this for a while but don't feel it is as good as 'Wolfgang Amadeus' or 'It's Never Been Like That', both of which are well worth checking out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (Audio CD)
Bankrupt! by Phoenix essential tracks: Entertainment / Bourgeois
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite bands, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I love Phoenix. Everything about their music is so delightful. I enjoy listening to them in the shower and sometimes while making spaghetti hoops.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I just love Phoenix, 8 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (MP3 Download)
Saw them at Reading, they were amazing. Have all 5 of their albums, and this completely isn't a let down. Great sound, and especially the first half of the album is simply fantastic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous albums, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (MP3 Download)
I'm a huge fan of Phoenix and was really looking forward to this album, but it didn't live up to the hype that I'd given it. Certain songs are amazing whereas others fail to stick - worth getting, but alongside their other albums not on its own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (MP3 Download)
If you liked their previous albums you will love this. The album has some really catchy songs that you will want to listen to again and again. It does include some tracks that you might skip over if you were listening to them by themselves as a single but they fit perfectly within the album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, 25 Sep 2013
This review is from: Bankrupt! (Audio CD)
Pretty Good. Eighties throwbacks in a way. Ideal for blasting on a car journey. May get more from their other stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (MP3 Download)
This band Blew me away when I saw them playing at T In The Park. Great band, love the record.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bankruppppttttttt, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Bankrupt! (Audio CD)
A lot of the reviews have understandingly focused on comparing this album to the previous one (which is awesome by the way), but I always knew that this album was never going to top Wolfgang. Phoenix stuck to the same formula when structuring this album with a peak track mid way, although the difference being where Wolfgang tended to peater out in my opinion after 'Love like a Sunset, Pt.2', Bankrupt remained consistently fun and enjoyable throughout (although I did find the track 'Bankrupt!' a little too experimental and a bit of a nothing track - my only gripe with the album).

If you are a fan of Phoenix then I don't shun this album yet - just set your expectations and give it a couple of listens and you will soon be topped up with some Phoenix goodness
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