Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixAlbum | Phoenix By Laura Leebove
Reinventing their sound for the better.
With their fourth album, French popsters Phoenix almost completely reinvent their sound for the better. The group has weaned itself off of the boy-band harmonies, cheesy lyrics and smooth-jam tendencies of their earliest material. While Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix still relies on electronics and synths to complement the newly frenzied guitars and Thomas Mars' effortless tenor, it ultimately is a rock album from start to finish. Nearly every track is a winner, from the disco-tinged "Fences," to the drum-and-frantic-guitar kick-off to "Lasso," to the clean-cut power-pop of album-closer "Armistice." And they don't leave off the classical references at the album title: First single "Lisztomania" kicks off the album with an ode to Franz Liszt, a famous 19th-century Hungarian pianist and composer who anticipated modern musical ideas and trends in his own pieces and who is said to have engendered the same wild public adulation later lavished on the likes of the Beatles. Phoenix may not be at that level yet, but Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix easily tops their previous efforts.