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Phoenix continues to fly high with ‘Bankrupt’

Posted on April 23, 2013 | by Alana Drof

Courtesy of V2 Records


On their fifth studio album “Bankrupt!,” French alternative rock group Phoenix delivers a distinctive sound while steering clear of the post-success trap so many artists fall into following the release of a popular album. Equipped with 10 attention-grabbing tracks, “Bankrupt” is an album that stands on its own while maintaining a culturally reflective message.

Beginning with the catchy single “Entertainment,” the album is a force to be reckoned with.  Heavy on both synths and percussion, the melody hints at the enjoyable sound of the tracks to follow.

Continuing the dance-provoking vibe, the album packs a punch with tracks like the anthem “Trying to Be Cool” and the melodious “Chloroform,” which comes equipped with strong electronic influences.

Unlike their 2009 breakout album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” “Bankrupt” flies by smoothly and seamlessly, with each track lending itself to the following jingle. And while each single can stand alone as an intriguing expression of pop-rock finesse, the album begs to be appreciated as a whole rather than à la carte.

Phoenix has managed to produce an album that you’ll play on repeat for weeks, but the band also sends a cultural message. Through tracks like “The Real Thing,” in which Thomas Mars chants, “You’re Lancelot/20-year-old and bored/Run for a better future,” the band urges a sense of self and encourage listeners to open their ears and minds.

This theme continues with the socially aware “Bourgeois,” which unapologetically proclaims, “We’re destined, wise and we socialize/Bourgeois, why would you care for more?/They gave you almost everything/You believed almost anything/Bourgeois, your fire’s a false alarm.”

The album serves as a reminder that although Phoenix has been a band for nearly 20 years, it continues to create music that appeals to listeners in a tactile and palpable manner, proving that the key to prolonged success is accessibility.

Whether you’re a die-hard Phoenix fan, “Bankrupt!” is certainly an album worthy of appreciation. Brimming with electronic beats, ear-pleasing hooks and intriguing transitions, the record is an experience itself.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 23 print edition. Alana Drof is a contributing writer. Email her at



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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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