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Album Review: Phoenix – Ti Amo

By on Monday, 12th June 2017 at 12:00 pm

Phoenix are in good company: with Daft Punk and Air, they are the other French act who have reached the heady heights of global stardom. Since the mainstream success of their Grammy-winning ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ in 2009, it’s been natural that any new music from the alt-rock/dance band led by vocalist Thomas Mars has been met with much fanfare. Four years on from ‘Bankrupt!’ and its odd fruit-themed cover, they have returned with ‘Ti Amo’.

The title is the Italian expression for deep and profound love, and the Gallic scenesters are directing their amorous thoughts to their neighbors to the east. ‘Tuttifrutti’ and ‘Fiore Di Latte’ are an Italian dessert and cheese, respectively, while ‘Via Veneto’ is the Rodeo Drive or Kings Road of Rome. But we’re not here for an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The slow, easy buzz of synths ushers in opener ‘J-Boy’, the earliest taster of the LP prior to its release last week. While its shiny synth notes gives the track a most welcome summery feel, the single maintains a steady tempo throughout, never reaching a climax. Neither does ‘Tuttifrutti, for that matter.

Oddly for a band like Phoenix who have been hugely popular for the songs their fans like to pogo to, they’ve chosen to go barer on several tracks here, which come across either as lazy, experiments gone wrong or attempts to follow their down tempo mates Air’s success. It seems strange following the punch in the face that ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Drakkar Noir’ from 2014’s ‘Bankrupt!’ were. Mid-life crisis, perhaps? Mars’ echoey vocals sound dreamlike on ‘Via Veneto’, and it’s only the animated synth notes on here that give the number any life. On the slow-moving ‘Role Model’, he takes on the role of bystander as he explains the celebrity life isn’t all its cracked up to be. The subject matter is likely mirroring real life than you might think: all fathers and family men now, they’re sure to have realised there’s more to life than being pop stars temporarily on the top of the heap.

Things move slightly more upbeat on some of the other tracks, which will resonate with the dance, ‘1901’-loving fans of Phoenix. On ‘Ti Amo’ standout ‘Fleur De Lys’, a heart-pumping, Fela Kuti rhythm thuds incessantly while Mars and his falsetto go political. It appears to be sympathetic to the local who’s judged as an outsider for his intelligence and independence, in the face of the right-wing nationalists who almost took control of their country a few weeks ago. Disco-tinged title track ‘Ti Amo’ has Oriental-sounding guitar flourishes, while the lyrics are directed towards a tease. Let’s just say Mars sounds…frustrated. While ‘Fior Di Latte’ is firmly back in the down tempo camp, its sleazy lyrics of “we’re meant to get it on” and “all other acts are for idiots / come on, come on, come and provide it” match the oozy, wonky compressed synth patterns. Am I getting old? Is this supposed to be a come-on? Groan.

Phoenix’s latest feels unquestionably like a summer record should. The question you should ask yourself is the kind of summer you want to have and what album you want to soundtrack it with. If you’re looking for dance floor banger after banger, there’s others out there more worthy of your time, money and attention. If you’re a fan of the slow jam, then ‘Ti Amo’ might just be for you.


‘Ti Amo’, Phoenix’s sixth studio album, is out now on Glassnote Records. The French band are playing a few shows this week on the West Coast of America; they head back east to play Glastonbury on the 24th, then loads of festivals in Europe, Asia and even Mexico through the end of the year. For more of TGTF’s past coverage on Phoenix, follow this link.


Video of the Moment #2375: Phoenix

By on Wednesday, 7th June 2017 at 6:00 pm

French synthpop band Phoenix are gearing up to release a new album this Friday. ‘Ti Amo’ from the hugely popular Gallic group drops on the 9th of June on Glassnote Records. To add further anticipation ahead of Friday, they’ve revealed another promo video from a song on the upcoming record. ‘Goodbye Soleil’ seems a strange title for a song right before the summer official begins. The accompanying video is a mishmash of lo-fi clips from a sunny Italian locale attracting sun worshippers. It’s kind of a boring anti-climax, but at least the song itself is interesting. Watch the video below. To catch up on our past coverage on Phoenix, go here.



Phoenix / February 2014 UK Tour

By on Thursday, 17th October 2013 at 9:00 am

French indies Phoenix have announced three UK dates in the new year as part of their ongoing world tour in support of current album ‘Bankrupt!’ Tickets are on sale now.

Monday 10th February 2013 – Glasgow Barrowland
Tuesday 11th February 2013 – Manchester Academy
Wednesday 12th February 2013 – London Brixton Academy


Live Gig Video: Phoenix perform ‘Entertainment’ in Le Chateau de Versailles for La Blogotheque

By on Friday, 30th August 2013 at 4:00 pm

This amazingly aerially shot live video of Phoenix was filmed for French Web site La Blogotheque. At Le Chateau de Versailles, the French dance pop band perform ‘Entertainment’, a single from their current album ‘Bankrupt!’, which is out now on Atlantic. Watch it below.

This is beautiful. Damn. Now I want to visit France.



MP3(s) of the Day #768: Phoenix

By on Monday, 15th July 2013 at 10:00 am

French electro / rock poppers Phoenix were featured last week on Rolling Stone when A-Trak‘s remix of their current single ‘Trying to Be Cool’. You can grab that remix here. Because their 2009 album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’ spawned a whole host of buzzworthy remixes (including one by Delphic of ‘Fences’ that we posted yonks ago), I wondered what other free versions there might be out there of this song. Grab the ones by RAC, Soul Clap and Breakbot below. And should you have forgotten what the original sounds like, head over to this previous live gig video post.


Live Gig Video: Phoenix are ‘Trying to Be Cool’ in their new performance video

By on Wednesday, 3rd July 2013 at 4:00 pm

French electro indie favourites Phoenix released a new album ‘Bankrupt!’ in April, and here is the video for one of the songs featured on the LP, ‘Trying to Be Cool’, which is making the radio rounds right now. if the unusual style of this video seems vaguely familiar, it was directed by CANADA, who also brought us their Glassnote American labelmates Two Door Cinema Club‘s brilliant ‘What You Know’ video. Watch the video below.



About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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