On the eve of the two (what were meant to be) fantastic albums being released, Shakey Times asks where it all went wrong.
We got very excited when we discovered two of our favourite bands are set to release new material in the coming months. That was of course, before we heard some of it. Let’s look at those French wizards Phoenix first, a band that promised so much with the release of Alphabetical (2004) and It’s Never Been Like That (2006). Due to release their fourth studio album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ in May, we couldn’t wait to hear what was rumored to be a little indie pop classic. The leaked ‘1901’ however is shite. It’s rudimentary, it’s overly familiar, and to be honest, it sounds like it couldn’t beat its way out of a paper bag. They could’ve come out all guns blazing and potentially smashed all expectations – but by resting on their laurels and sticking to convention, Phoenix have managed to leave a pretty awful taste in the back of all the ST bloggers mouths. Urgh.
Now – don’t even get me started on Junior Boys! Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus first release Birthday/Last Exit came in October 2003 — a four-track EP with a remix by Fennesz which brought them near-unanimous acclaim. It was 2006’s ‘So This Is Good Bye’ full length LP that really brought us to our knees though. Not a bum track on the album which featured hits like ‘Count Souvenirs’, ‘Like A Child’, and the unbelievable ‘In The Morning’. It was delicate and intimate, but the sort of record you could be equally as comfortable playing in the car as you did the bedroom. And now they come out with this tosh!? Well, it’s not exactly tosh but it certainly isn’t anywhere near as good as what we expected. Judge for yourself, but we can only hope the album promises more.
We understand bands have to change, and sometimes that means they may produce a more polished sounding record. This in itself is nothing to be ashamed of and nor would we suggest it is. None the less, we honestly thought both Pheonix and Junior Boys had the potential to stretch themselves creatively to limits other bands cannot. It’s just the fact that they sound like they couldn’t even be bothered that really got under our skin. We’ll keep our fingers crossed in vain all the same.