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FILTER Grade: 87%

By Zachary Sniderman on April 23, 2013



Through four albums, Phoenix have become more ambitious with their brand of pop, cutting between the dance thud of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’s “1901” and experiments like United’s “Funky Squaredance.” The highly anticipated Bankrupt! is complete and accomplished. It’s less catchy than Wolfgang but also more creative and more satisfying. Bankrupt! recalls the ’80s noir of their debut, but here, each song does more. From the “Hong Kong Garden” overtones of head-bopping single “Entertainment” (and, frankly, most of the record) to the growling vamp of “Chloroform,” Bankrupt! is peculiar. Phoenix have found a new sound, stitching together a record that feels complete even if it isn’t loaded with singles. It takes a special band to sell a chorus that ends with “I’d rather be alone,” but somehow, again and again, Phoenix rise to the top.


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