Album review: Phoenix, Bankrupt! (Glassnote)


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The Independent Culture

French quartet Phoenix's follow-up to their 2009 breakthrough, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, continues in a similar vein of throwback pop whose retro leanings are neatly signalled by the nostalgic jet-set imagery of “Drakkar Noir”.

With its furiously cycling synths carrying Thomas Mars's sleek, high-register voice, it's a giant Toblerone of Seventies/Eighties sympathies. Likewise, tracks like “The Real Thing” and especially “SOS in Bel Air” strongly recall the innovative heyday of Sparks. Elsewhere, the title track slips from minimalist cycling harpsichord to portentous organ and guitar arpeggios before fading mid-lyric, while the cod-oriental motif of “Entertainment” offers a fond memory of a time when such things didn't seem quite so patronising.

Download: Entertainment; SOS in Bel Air; Drakkar Noir