The infectiously catchy percussion and happy adrenaline that fuels the first hit single off the new Phoenix album belies the rest of the CD. And that's not a bad thing.
That first hit is "Lisztomania," a track the band performed on Saturday Night Live last month. "Lisztomania"'s crisp hooks and bubbly synth recall the '80s heyday of the Norwegian new wavers a-ha.
But most of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is easygoing impressionistic pop. The electric guitar maintains a steady mid-tempo riff and lets the keyboard steal the breezy melody on "Girlfiend."
Smack dab in the middle of the album are two conjoined, mostly instrumental songs, "Love Like a Sunset," parts one and two. The rising and falling synth reminds me of the sight of the sun crashing and bleeding into the horizon. The sparse lyrics describe love: "a visible illusion / where it starts it ends."
This French indie band has made a CD that I'll be spinning all during my American summer.