Phoenix - 'Alpha Zulu'

7/10

After the release of their fourth full-length 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' in 2009, French outfit Phoenix went from a modest and low-flying entity on the scene to one of the most in-demand acts in the world. With a flurry of hit singles from that release, they had stumbled upon a sound that was so vital and engaging at the time, it was almost impossible to get away from it. And after spending the better part of a decade reattempting to reach those heady heights again, they are back to deliver their seventh studio album 'Alpha Zulu', a record that comes closer to their zenith than ever.

In the wake of their breakthrough, Phoenix released 'Bankrupt!' and 'Ti Amo' in 2013 and 2017 respectively, two LPs which were very much linked to the commercial zeitgeist of the time, and didn't really achieve the same timeless feel of their most influential work. But on 'Alpha Zulu', it certainly feels like they are beginning to find their feet once again and offer up something more than just another throwaway indie-pop record. Blending more of that adventurous electronic aesthetic to their direction once again, this new offering makes for a wonderfully warm and inviting listen, brimming with fresh and alluring textures.

While the opening title-track certainly stands as the most impactful of this new collection, 'Alpha Zulu' still manages to create a bubbling atmosphere filled with dynamic and innovative ideas. They may not have the same infectious energy as their earlier days, but are still looking to have as much fun as possible.

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