The Spinners

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Phoenix, 2009)

In French, Indie Pop, Richard Bolisay on January 4, 2010 at 6:27 am

There is a peculiar kind of magic that happens when Thomas Mars repeats words, more so if he tells a story in three or four minutes; or not even a story, but just mere words and phrases that glow with life when they escape his mouth and carry a tune. Corny it may sound, Phoenix have turned into a beautiful phoenix in their fourth album. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix combines the tenderness of United and Alphabetical; and the effortless fun and techno of It’s Never Been Like That, and comes up with an irresistible mix of pop (“Lisztomania”, “1901”) and indulgence (“Love Like A Sunset”). Mars can easily oversing the catchiness of their songs; but he doesn’t. He knows that that’s what makes them catchy—how they seem so easy to make and how their melodies infect like a disease. Mars is still the cool dude who’s calm as ever, never dull but always invigorating, unmindful of the spell of his voice. But credit goes to the whole band for the remarkably polished songs, tracks that are so joyful the entire record sounds like a silent shout, its youthfulness flowing from its seams. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix breathes with life, and that life is something that can always be enjoyed by pressing Repeat.

– Richard Bolisay

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