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Phoenix - Alphabetical


Review: Jack Foley

PHOENIX are long overdue their time in the limelight, according to many Djs, who have seized upon the release of the single, Run, Run, Run, as a terrific opportunity to extol their virtues.

Cut from the same sort of cloth as Air, in that sophisticated French way of producing folk-inspired electro-pop, the band certainly appear worthy of praise, for their second album, Alphabetical.

And anyone who has picked up on the vibe surrounding the supremely laid-back single, can expect more of the same from the long-player, in that it is a typically cool piece of Gallic-flavoured music-making that marks a good period for the French music industry.

Alphabetical actually marks a more downbeat direction than its predecessor, United, but is still a fairly breezy affair, packed with the type of delicious beats that make it ideal for kicking back with on a cool Summer’s day.

Run, Run, Run is an excellent example of what to expect, with its hip-hop beats and folk-styled rhythms, effortlessly hinting at the Air-style of Talkie Walkie, while also the likes of Beck after he has smoked a hash pipe.

Thomas Mars’ laidback, warm vocals, also serve as a welcome guide to the beats on show, effectively providing a more than satisfying accompaniment to the quality of the music.

Further highlights include the harmonious ballad, Love For Granted, and the Dr Dre-style piano hook of Victim of Crime, while Congratulations is neatly summarised in the publicity as being like ‘Daft Punk gone indie’.

Throughout, the country-tinged elements sit comfortably alongside the hip-hop and electronica influences, making it an absorbing listen.

There is the odd moment when tracks seem to go nowhere, such as I'm An Actor or If It's Not You, but, on the whole, the overall effect is extremely positive and well worth trying out.

For those who love the style of Run, Run, Run, of course, Alphabetical is damn near essential.

Track listing:
1. Eveything Is Everything
2. Run Run Run
3. I'm An Actor
4. Love For Granted
5. Victim of the Crime
6. (You Can't Blame It On) Anybody
7. Congratulations
8. If It's Not With You
9. Holdin' On Together
10. Alphabetical

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