If you’ve been following the independent music scene in 2009, then you may be surprised to see this album appear so early on my list. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the fourth studio album by French band Phoenix, has garnered universal acclaim, and seemingly everywhere I turn, I am hearing about this record. One of the songs (“1901”, as posted below) was even featured in a recent Cadillac commercial (I’m sure you’ve seen it, I see it at least once a day). Turns out Americans really do appreciate the French (or really just their pop music) after all.
So while I don’t LOVE this album like many others do, I still think that it is a great record. An appreciable thing about this album is that even though it is highly praised by indie snobs near and far, it really is quite accessible. Most of the songs are catchy, and embrace such interesting riffs/beats that even the biggest Lady Gaga fans could enjoy it (No disrespect to Lady Gaga, I actually am quite a big fan).
Unfortunately, this album peaks way too early; the two opening tracks “Lisztomania” and the aforementioned “1901” are worlds ahead of the rest of the tracks. While the cliché “all downhill from here” might be too cruel (because the rest of the album is still pretty solid), I think it’s safe to say that after the first two tracks, the album never reaches the same level of greatness that it started at.
Released: May 25 2009