Review: Phoenix – ‘Ti Amo’
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It is not far-fetched to predict that this album holds the “romantic” dance anthems of this summer. Phoenix takes new approaches of how to evolve with every new album they take, but they still remember their foundation. It’s been over five years since the bands last release, Bankrupt!. Before their 2013 release was public, the band had released a disclaimer stating that Bankrupt! would be taking a step back from pop music we had known them for. Ti Amo puts one foot back into their beginnings of Wolfgang Amadeus and the other in the future, which seems to combine their French upbringings with an Italian twist.
“J-Boy” was engineered to be the anthem of clubs and dance floors everywhere. In the first few seconds a steady keyboard bassline explodes like a confetti blaster into a sweet and tender yet undeniably peppy beat. Normally we would expect the happiest of happy go lucky lyrics to link up with such a sound, but to our demise the lyrical content seems to be split right down the middle. The song begins by expressing the excitement of being a part of someone else’s life and as the lyrics say, “To belong, to be lost, to be mostly the two of us.” This seems the two lovers aren’t doing much loving afterward though. Lines such as “They hang me higher than a disco ball/But you talked them into letting me go/It’s no Picasso, Michelangelo” and “Some things don’t matter until they matter to you”. The contradiction between the music and lyricism is unlikely but helps convey Thomas Mars’ story.
Other tracks have very different perspectives. “Fior Di Latte” has not much to do with love as it has to do with turning someone on. Although certain lines do explore loneliness, such as “Sleeping all alone/ I been craving for too long/ Keep it quiet/ Go steady”. This line shows no emotional connections leading the listener to believe that this is either a one night stand or perhaps an affair. The indicating lyrics glide along with the beautiful pairing of Mars voice and a sleek synthesizer to back it up. They may not have even known it but with the creation of Ti Amo and this song in particular, Phoenix has boosted the pop revival movement that’s been lost in the genre jumble.
As mentioned before, this album was designed for dancing. Songs like “Lovelife”, “Fleur De Lys” and “Role Model” are no exception. Phoenix never seems to be embarrassed to be associated with the word “pop”. The word has been disregarded for years as bands seemed to almost be ashamed to have the genre involved in their music. Phoenix, on the other hand, has taken pop under it’s wings and called it their own.
– Riley DeSantis