I never liked Phoenix. There music just seems so soulless and factory made that I just can’t enjoy it. Sure they are a pop group, there is nothing wrong with that, but Ariel Pink and Lykke Li manage to write catchy pop songs that don’t sound like they came off some pop radio, car commercial assembly line. That being said, the songs are catchy. You know who else writes songs that are “catchy?” Katy Perry. And she is awful!
That being said, this post is not about bashing Phoenix, its very much the opposite. What you are witnessing today is me admitting my opinion of a band has changed for the better. Usually, once I decide to hate you then that its it but I recently caught a video of Phoenix performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. If you are not familiar with the format bands perform, mostly acoustically, in NPR’s music office in front of a small audience. These sessions are very stripped down and intimate, a place where a band built around arena rock pomp should falter.
The problem is is that they didn’t sound terrible. Quite the opposite actually. Thomas Mars’ vocals are given a new context. When all the electronics and reverb are filtered out he sounds much more fragile and honest. This is a band I would pay to see, not that heartless, arena shock machine they seem to have become. These guys are talented enough musicians that they don’t all the studio “magic” to make them sound good. Katy Perry needs it. Not Phoenix.