The French indie rockers are back, with their latest album in three years. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix looks to further develop the band's sound, but does it stand out amongst their work, or is it bombs away for Phoenix? (Yup, that was indeed pun usage.)
I think I should mention this before we get on with this review, I actually didn't start listening to Phoenix until recently. Though, to be fair, prior to purchasing and listening to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, I made sure to buy the band's three previous album to ensure that I had a good idea of the band's sound. And with that known, let's get started!
The album sticks with Phoenix's 10 track norm, as to why they don't have more then ten tracks per album is beyond me, none the less, nothing's changed. Opening Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the first single off the album, "Lisztomania", which to me sounds much like the material off 2006's It's Never Been Like That, which is a good thing; the song has a really catchy sound and is certainly a great way to start the album out. Following that, you have the rock-centric, "1901", which continues on catchy tunes, and then there's "Fences", which for me is one of the most addictive Phoenix tracks I've heard, and is very reminiscent of R&B style of their 2004 album, Alphabetical.
Spliting the album is the two part track, "Love Like a Sunset", the first part of which is entirely instrumental, the second part is very minimal in that department though; nothing to blow you away, but the beats are nice. The rest of the album however, while still great, sounds very much the same, just with different lyrics. Which is kind of disappointing considering the variety found on their previous two albums. But, what ends up working for them, despite the similar sound in the end, is that the album stay consistent throughout. So if you have the album on repeat, there never is a dull moment that you feel you must hit next track for, which is always nice.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is definitely a great addition to the band's musical catalog, a further develops on their sound from 2006, while having a hint of Alphabetical in there. And while the second half of the album feels too much alike, it definitely shows signs of the band finding their signature sound, and is a symbol of just how much they've developed since United.
Overall Score: 8/10
You can listen to Phoenix's new album and the rest of their catalog at MySpace