A Phoenix (Band) Rebuttal
Martin Cizmar's review of the sold-out Phoenix show Monday night has raised some eyebrows, making a few good points about the current state of the French band. A lot of Martin's opinions come from someone who isn't the biggest fan of the band, and that is perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, am a big Phoenix fan, even though their last album is a disappointment to me. Allow me to present another side to this argument...
First of all, I must comment on the comparisons to Daft Punk. This is not simply because both acts are French, but the fact that both are French explains how Phoenix's lead guitarist Laurent Brancowitz once played in a band with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo -- better known to the world as Daft Punk. Yes, Bangalter and Homem-Christo honed their talents in a plain ol' band before donning helmets and becoming one of electronic music's biggest acts.
It's Never Been Like That is my favorite Phoenix album, even though Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is their biggest commercial success. It's Never is just a completely solid indie rock album the whole way through -- there is no filler, there are no boring tracks to skip and even the token instrumental track, "North," is upbeat and keeps a interesting tempo. Watching them play the majority of that album at Coachella was a moment I will never forget. They played an exhilarating set that was heavy with It's Never but still played the better songs from Alphabetical and United, their first album. Their showmanship was superb and their outfits were rather, ahem, dapper. They gave fans of theirs exactly what they expected and exactly what they deserved that day.
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