» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I walk around Brooklyn carrying paint cans with a beat in my step. Instead of stepping with a soundtrack of the Bee Gees, Phoenix is my background music. I am a 21st century disco king; I am the poor man's John Travolta. I've got the look. I spend a lot of time on my hair. And I've got the moves, now I've got the music. Phoenix is a pioneer of the new Eurodisco: they are the sleek and stylish, androgynous taste makers for all the up and coming young pop kids.

Phoenix is certainly the new Bee Gees, and like the Bee Gees, they play accessible dance pop music. It must also be said - even without knowing the group comes from France - the music sounds undeniably European. It's like that new exchange student with the tight jeans. He might be wearing Nikes and a Chicago Bulls T-shirt, but something is undeniably foreign about him. It might be Phoenix's sultry jangle, and irresistible urge to put a beat (however subtle) behind even a soft pop number, but they've got something we, here in the States, almost always leave to the Europeans.

No matter what the influence, this is undeniably good pop music. Perhaps most widely known to US audiences as a group who was on the soundtrack to Lost in Translation, this full length also showcases a musical link to another Coppola favorite: Air. Like the French duo, Phoenix creates a lush sound that owes much to 70's pop on "(You Can Blame it on) Anybody". However, melancholy piano pop is another side of the group: they have a Rufus Wainwright moment on the inspired "Love For Granted".

Phoenix's success isn't just a case of incorporating the right influences. First and foremost it relies on its ability to write infectious hooks, as on "Victim of the Crime" and "Holdin on Together". The former begins with a guitar strum (that sounds something like DR. Dre's "Still D.R.E.," believe it or not) and a vocal hook of "Come Come/ Dropping off the Radar" that easily finds its way into your consciousness and stays there. The latter is hypnotic enough that it might even convince some of us rhythm-less hacks that we can dance.

As the CD ends, I'm still in present day Brooklyn, stepping off a curb on Atlantic Avenue. I'm just another kid who can't dance - who has no rhythm. There's a vague smell of trash in the air and the noise of construction dins in the distance. I stop for a second, hit play on the Discman, check my coif in a storefront window, and step like I'm training for a dance competition or something.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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