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Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glassnote)

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., June 19, 2009

Phases & Stages

Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glassnote)

Following up pre-Twitter hit "Long Distance Call" from 2006's It's Never Been Like That, "Lisztomania" upticks its kickoff tap dance on both snare and guitar picks flicked against taut, electric strings, while keyboards color all manner of poptopia. Such gaseous buzz opens "1901" against pinging steel and another go-go tempo equally irrepressible. Phoenix's fourth studio disc this decade hits once again for the Parisian quartet. The VHS or Beta 1980s groove of "Fences" strips back for a six-string ripple jangling percussive hooks previous to "Love Like a Sunset Part I" losing a decade to Tangerine Dream's electro network of grid zings. "Lasso" thumps an early-Strokes endorphin rush. The bottom falls out of Wolfie's second half – "Rome" declines, "Countdown" never reaches orbit, and "Girlfriend," no – but closer "Armistice" beats fresh out of the dryer on golden Versailles pogo. Merveilleux!

***.5

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