Jan 3 2010

#04 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2009: Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

PhoenixWolfgangSeemingly not content by the French near total domination of the global dance scene, Phoenix came along to show us how indie rock is to be done properly.

Fans of the band’s previous efforts will have been eagerly awaiting a new release since 2006’s highly enjoyable ‘It’s Never Been Like That‘ but few could have predicted how accomplished Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sounds.

Opening double whammy ‘Listzomania’ and ‘1901‘ became instant classics and having them back to back at the front of the album represents a true statement of intent. Though these two tracks are majestic and worthy of attention the tracklisting that follows demonstrates that Phoenix are far from a one trick pony..

Wolfgang Amadeus… offer up plenty when it comes to variety including the positively sexy ‘Fences‘, driving album closer ‘Armistice‘ and the truly inspired ‘Love Like A Sunset Part 1′. This last track’s reminiscent of Air‘s atmospheric edgy genius at its best.

Possibly the stand out moment on the album is ‘Lasso‘ with its subtle structure changes and emotive guitar dynamics. This track makes for a suitable bedfellow to consummate a melodic menage-a-trois with the the opening doubly whammy .

Up until not so long ago Phoenix represented a hidden secret that only a few were in on. ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix‘ will ensure the world can no longer ignore them.


Phoenix – Lasso

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

NEXT: #03 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2009: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

PREVIOUS: #05 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2009: Iran – Dissolver


Aug 16 2008

Dub Stars in their eyes

Easy Star All-Stars is a talented collective that incorporates some of New York’s finest Reggae musicians. They have found their niche in recreating subliminal dub/reggae versions of legendary albums. So far they have released a version of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and Radiohead‘s ‘OK Computer’ and hopefully there will be more to come.

I first got into the band through their amazing ‘Dub Side Of The Moon‘. Presenting these rearranged tracks in the same order as the original album was a stroke of genius and the bands authentic reworkings¬†manages to amplify Pink Floyd‘s sense of psychedelia and mystique. Its a real pleasure to hear illustrious songs like ‘Speak to Me/Breathe (In the Air)’ and ‘Money’ in new light.

I was naturally delighted when their next release ‘Radiodread‘ came out in late 2006. ‘OK Computer’ was such a seminal album and many of the songs like ‘Karma Police’ and ‘No¬†Surprises’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ are instantly recognised around the world but believe it or not Easy Star All-Star breath new life into them. My selection of Lucky, perhaps a lesser known track from the original album, is owed largely to the fact that this rendition is majestic.

So sit back, light up a fat jay and float away like these tracks always intended you to do.