February 18, 2013

Song Review: Phoenix's "Entertainment"

Given that the massive, surprising yet altogether deserving success behind Phoenix's 2009 acclaimed and overdue breakout Wolfgang Phoenix Amadeus was fueled by two mainstream crossover singles and a car commercial, AS has been approaching their upcoming and very hyped up Coachella headliner-making effort Bankrupt! (due out April 23rd on Glassnote) with hesitance. Throughout their career, the Frenchmen has remained loyal to their formula of sophisticated synth gloss, with the only adjustments made being that of fine-tuning their craft to near-perfect pop as evidenced by "Listomania" and "1901." Anticipation that lightning will strike twice on Bankrupt! shouldn't be ruled out, but it might be pushing it. "Entertainment" is the LP's opening track and lead single, and fortunately, it doesn't give listeners anything to worry about. It doesn't surpass expectations, either. Barring a kickass Tokyo synth riff set into overdrive, frontman Thomas Mars' repetitively worded verse-and-chorus structures feel altogether familiar. It's a linear next step by Phoenix that still sounds as big as their ambitions four years ago, but "Entertainment" leaves AS wondering just when we can start believing that the "minimal" and "experimental" side of Bankrupt! will hit our stereos. Consider this the slick quartet's spring training.

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