22 May 2009

New Artist Alert: Phoenix

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your 100th post.

Crystal Castles are my fave of all these bands though. Their songs don't get old. Crimewave & Untrust Us have been hits for like, 3 years now.

I deleted my La Roux & Ladyhawke mp3s after 1 month.

May 12, 2009 2:50 AM

Considering the above comment, I realized that judging music is a lot like judging prospective relationships. Stay with me here: basically, all musicians fall somewhere on the exact same continuum as relationships. On one side of this spectrum you have the people you would never, ever even hook-up with. No matter how many drinks you have, it just isn't going to happen. Musically, this zone is dedicated to Lady Gaga, Akon and country music. The opposite end of this is marriage material. These are the people you're picking out curtains with and giving up blow for.

According to this rubric,
Phoenix, a four-piece alternative rock band, falls into the "fling" category. (No homo.) Although there's definitely space for unflattering comparisons to other soft rock bands, like Maroon 5, Phoenix would be more appropriate alongside Chromeo because they're both so fucking smooth. Whereas Chromeo sweeps women off their feet while laying down the funk like later-day Stevie Wonders, Phoenix are a couple of white kids sitting in their suburban basement listening to soul records on repeat.

They're soon releasing their fifth album (really "New Artist," I know), and if listening through all their music featured on their MySpace is any indication, they had quite a few misses leading up to it. A few of the songs are forgettable, if not straightup bad. The songs where they really shine feature soft guitar melodies, funky bass lines, simple, danceable drum beats and swooning vocals. Sparse synthesizer and violin tones are small details that really polish off these songs. And though their smoothness might be chalked up to the fact that they're French, it's hard to believe because they don't sound French. The vocals lack even a hint of that accent that sounds like someone trying to speak while choking on a frog.

Overall, Phoenix has a few really great tracks, but it isn't a band to dedicate yourself to. It's a fling. So have fun with it while it lasts, 'cause that might not be long.

Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better (mp3)


  1. Pheonix is the fat chick you're porking on the side. Have fun, but don't let your boys catch you with her.

  2. phoenix is so not some fat chick you're embarrassed to be with. i'd say phoenix is a unforgettable fling/borderline exclusive relationship status....wait...why have we succumbed to characterizing a band to relationships?? lol.

  3. is an unforgettable* excuse my ingles, i'm new to the country...

  4. EY!! Give me something new I haven't heard of yet! I also wouldn't mind something of a newer sound aka you can't relate to a band we already danced to last week.

    If you're up for the challenged you could have a chance of winning 1 million dollars!

  5. Fucking love the analogy. I love that you are actually a writer.

  6. And I just said love too much. Damn law frying my brain :/

  7. Too kind, too kind. I love that your blog is on air once more.

  8. Yep, I am def back. I had to adjust to law firm hours, but now I have a semblance of balance. Plus, I have been getting quite a few guest submissions, which helps when I've been busy.

  9. Guest submissions, eh? Are those just photos or commentary too?