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Phoenix Rising

by Ari Bendersky in Culture on 06 June 2005

phoenixbathroom.jpg

It’s funny when people who like music, but aren’t necessarily totally into music, inform me about a new band. Such was the case last week when Josh, the editor of this website, wrote to ask if I have ever heard of this group called Phoenix.

I emailed him back with some sort of smart-ass response that went something like, “Have I ever heard of them? Have you ever heard of Adidas?”

When Phoenix dropped Alphabetical early last year, something clicked for me. As soon as I heard the CD, I knew good things were happening in music (and see, then all of these other bands started popping up out of nowhere and everyone, including myself, started celebrating the “revolution” taking place in rock). This was Phoenix’s second album and it had a much tighter, more refined sound than their first, United, which came out nearly four years earlier. It was filled with a smattering of influences including ‘80s pop, uplifting retro ditties a la ‘70s SoCal singer-songwriters and even a little hip-hop.

For a bunch of French guys, they do English really well, sometimes better than people who speak English as a first language. When I interviewed Laurent “Branco” Brancowitz last year, I was really impressed at how genuinely nice he seemed. He talked about possibly being the first French-based rock band to break America, but if they didn’t accomplish that, they would just keep on making music.

And in my opinion, great music it is.

The band now has three official releases under their belt, including Live! Thirty Days Ago, which successfully captures the intensity of a live Phoenix show.

Check out songs from Alphabetical and Thirty Days Ago

And you won’t be left in the dark, like our pal Josh.

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