Phoenix "Bankrupt"

The French indie rock band follow up their massively successful Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

For its fifth studio album the French indie rock group has decided to, as band member put it, create something more experimental than the songs on its hugely successful album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. This follows on the heels of Phoenix’s work on the soundtrack for Sophia Coppola’s film “Somewhere,” which tracked a movie’s star’s existential crisis. Is this an indicator of where Phoenix is at in its career? As it prepares to headline on the summer festival circuit the band presumably will be playing track from an album that borrow musical themes ranging from the German techno band Kraftwerk, to Duran Duran , to commercial jingles.

Bankrupt begins and ends with wall of synth- sound. It is the dominant force on the release, even superseding Thomas Mars’ vocals.  Acoustic and electric guitar offset the swirling instrumentation, which, at times, overtakes the melodies.  Percussion is a mix of programmed beats. The songs are populated by disconcerted characters, never quite miserable but certainly not a happy lot either. Is there an existential element to Bankrupt? I wouldn’t venture that far but it appears that the band’s massive success has the fellow’s questioning their evolution as a musical entity.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)