A Slice of Fried Gold

Music Mondays

Monday, March 30, 2009

Album of the Week: Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix has always been a band I was entertained by. Ever since 2004's Alphabetical came out and it was full of some really, really tasty pop tracks, I knew that these guys were a pretty fun band. While they were fun though, I never really took them that seriously and never really got that into their sound or any of their other albums. It seemed like it was a great fit on the surface (Phoenix and myself, that is), but it never seemed to add up anywhere else besides on paper.

Then I heard that they were going to be the musical guest on April 4th's episode of Saturday Night Live and my mind immediately went all "que?!" on me. Phoenix? That Phoenix? They haven't exactly had any radio hits, nor do they have the argument of "ear piercing buzz" like Ray LaMontagne or Fleet Foxes had. Why the heck are they going to be on SNL?

Of course, I looked online and saw that there was a new album coming out, entertaingly titled Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Predictably, given that it is an easily convertible to digital format, it also made it's on to the intarwebs some 2 months before its release, thus being acquired by yours truly in an entirely too excitable way (there may have been drooling involved).

After about four or five listens, I have to say, Phoenix and I are starting to add up on more than just paper. As I love to admit on occasion, I'm really something of a pop fiend. I may listen to music some people may not have heard of, but when you drill down into my favorites it's all pop music. What Phoenix is releasing on March 25th is really one of the top renditions of straightforward pop music that I've heard in quite some time.

The best thing I can say about this album is that the second time I listened to the album, I was already singing along. It has instantly catchy vocals from frontman Thomas Mars, tight and fun instrument arrangements from the rest of the band, and everything is presented in toe tappingly perfect manners. Most every track on this album could easily be a giant single, and I really think this is the album that this band blows up with, as it comes highly recommended from yours truly if you're looking for nothing more than a great time from your music.

In a weird way, I think nothing explains this album better than the video below. It was created for the leadoff track from the album, titled "Lisztomania," and it's set to a montage of dance sequences from John Hughes movies from the 1980's. Strangely, those movies are a perfect filmic representation of everything that this album does right. Fun, light, and something that warms your heart at the best of times and reflects upon your own life at others. Check it out.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: A


Amy said...

I like this! It's no tranny song... but I still kinda dig it. Make me a copy of the album?

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