‘Bankrupt’ album receives lukewarm response

By Kevin Bartelt

If the money you received from returning your books is going straight to the bars, maybe you can relate to the new Phoenix album titled “Bankrupt!”

After hits like “1901” and “Lisztomania,” the anticipated album had high standards to reach; however, the punchy, synth-dependent songs illustrate little change from track to track.

According to Thecurrent.org, “As with all of [Phoenix’s] albums, ‘Bunkrupt!’ has exactly 10 songs, at least one (mostly, in this case) instrument, a decent balance of slow jams and fast jams, and a prevailing sense of sameness.”

Although some put me to sleep, three specific songs made me shake my head in a forward-backward motion.

“Entertainment” stretches listeners’ imagery to Asia…or at least the movie “The Karate Kid.” The song reminds me of an electronic version of “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors.

According to Musicomh.com, “‘Entertainment’ sets the template right from the start, beginning uncannily like David Bowie’s ‘China Girl’ before exploding into a barrage of overlaid synths….” This track is definitely catchy, but after a few listens I moved on to bigger and better things.

“S.O.S. in Bel Air” is by far the best song on the album. For many different reasons, this track makes me shake my hips in a side-to-side motion. The upbeat, reggaeton beat played by the drummer compliments the triplets played by the synth. In addition, I enjoy how the guitar riff jams to the same pitch sung by Thomas Mars. The symmetry of “S.O.S. in Bel Air” is a much-needed peak to this so-so album.

The third and final song I recommend is “Trying to be Cool.” The reoccurring synth part adds a relaxed, feel-good vibe to the track. “Trying to be Cool” reminds me of bands like The Strokes and MGMT.

Even though “Entertainment” and “S.O.S. in Bel Air” are two great tracks, the album did not impress me too much. I was hoping for more hits. “Bankrupt!” was not amazing but definitely worth checking out.

I give the album three stars.