Friday, September 25, 2009

Eine Kleine Dance Musik - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

With the past few days seemingly filled with music that has, in one way or another, been pretty heavy going, not to mention the fact that the weekend is upon us and we should all be in good moods, it seemed time to change the pace of things once again and listen to something a little more upbeat.

And where better to go for that, without needing to compromise the standard of the music, than the latest album from French alt-dance band, Phoenix. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix certainly is fun to listen to and maybe even, in its own way, a not unflattering tribute to its more famous namesake.

It’s not that I am going so far as to say that Phoenix is the new Mozart – but it is worth remembering that even a genius of Mozart’s stature was able to recognise that good music is not diminished even when it serves no purpose other than to be enjoyed.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is made up of ten songs – most of them more than boppy enough to keep your guests on the floor at your next party, as long as they are happy to dance to music that doesn’t always stay in the expected groove. Admittedly I haven’t been on enough dance floors lately to know exactly what is expected anymore – but, in any event, the changes of beat, the occasional appearance of things like flute and marimba, the unusual shifts and twists in the vocal line, the minimalist flavoured repetition of small melodic figures, or even of a single note, all give the music a wonderful originally and vitality that is a joy to hear.

The music, whether it’s the sparkling, lively, “Lisztomania”, or the more measured, paced, “Love Like a Sunset”, or the rock-leaning “Lasso”, is always bubbling and bursting with energy and light – and yet always in a slightly understated way, like you’re looking at an impressionist painting of a sunny day. This is the pop music that Debussy might have written.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix will not make you rethink your place in the universe, but then Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart didn’t always do that either. Sometimes just smiling and having fun is enough.

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