Thinking This Is Fun

Winners have a bad habit of making everyone else a loser by default, but when a band like Phoenix pulls ahead of the pack, for the time being, we can all share in the victory.

Winning is hard, really for two main reasons: first, you have to win. The best winners make this look easy, but it never is. The second reason concerns what happens after you win. All the striving and dedication to your craft has paid off, but it puts you in a dangerous position. Not only will everyone who supported your rise to the top expect the same results from you every time, but everyone looking to make a name for themselves will be gunning for you. You might think that these eventualities only pertain to athletics, homecoming queen elections, or high finance, but rock bands are just as likely to win, too.

Take Phoenix, for example. They win. This French indie rock outfit has a new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, due out in May, but, wouldn't you know it, the whole thing's leaked online already. And the preliminary reviews are quite positive. Maybe not everyone agrees that Phoenix is winning at the moment, but those who disagree are just wrong. Their sound is fun and washy and dramatic and beepy and the singer has a sorta wussy voice. They sound like your childhood getting out of school for the summer. This band is screwed. Down the road, they'll have plenty of opportunities to impress us again, but it probably won't sound as fresh and exciting as this album does right now. Luckily, it's still now now.

There are so many great songs to recommend from the album (some of which are scheduled to be performed on SNL on April 4), so it's fortunate that the site Et Musique Pour Tous has corralled a bunch of them for your perusal. (Fair warning: the writer seems a bit hung up on Sophia Coppola, the lead singer's wife.) We're recommending "Fences," a groovy pop song not unlike those regularly produced by of Montreal, although "1901" is the already-released and nigh-universally enamored single. Well done, Phoenix, and God help you.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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