Record of the Week

Phoenix “Ti Amo”


Phoenix, hanging out inside Trevi Fountain in Rome with Anita Ekberg and Marecllo Mastroianni. In the entirety of the composition maybe not quite as beautiful as in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”.


“Ti Amo”

The story of Phoenix from Versailles seemed to be completed after their last album in 2013: “Bankrupt” came across as blatantly smug, extremely smooth and soulless. Guitar player Laurent Brancowitz said about the album, completely without irony, that it was supposed to sound like a marble orb that had been polished for a year. The ingenious spark of “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” had been drowned in a magnum bottle of Moët. The marble orb in question was lying around for a couple of years, looking good and being useless, until it became apparent to Thomas Mars, Christian Mazzalai, Deck D’Arcy and Brancowitz that something’s got to give – or rather that times in which terror attacks on music clubs are committed have to be treated with a celebration of love and lust for live.

With an album like “Ti Amo”, which many people don’t like either, not least because four French musician are singing about Italian gelato. The songs are called “Fior di Latte”, “Telefono” or “Tuttifrutti”, Thomas Mars is whispering softly to a tasty disco sound “don’t tell me no / I’ll say Ti Amo till we get along” – you call it escapism, i call it a peaceful revolution.
Sure, everyone listening to Phoenix songs is imagining themselves in convertibles breezing along the Cote d’Azur, sea breezes in tousled hair, oh and anyway. But Phoenix do of course know that they are not the band for explicit political statements, that people want to listen to them on the soundtracks of Sofia Coppola’s movies and not in front of the United Nations. “Ti Amo” is despite all of its danceable elegance and perfection not a la-boum-like pseudo-idyll in which Phoenix are secluding themselves. They have rediscovered love and vulnerability, sentiments that “Bankrupt” was lacking completely. And those who do not feel the melancholy in “J-Boy” or “Goodbye Soleil” can go fishing with Marteria.
Christina Mohr

Translation by Denise Oemcke. 


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