Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Whilst Wolfgang Amadeus... is clunker-free, with high points from start to finish, allow me to abandon my critical faculties and gush about 'Love Like a Sunset Part 1', as this instrumental is by far the most incredible moment of the album and also quite possibly the best thing they've ever done.
  2. The real star of the show isn’t the often-bloodless figure of Thomas Mars, it’s the brilliantly detailed production, centred around the dovetailing drum and guitar chops, best heard via headphones for the full stroboscopic effect.
  3. Aside from the incredible sonics though, Phoenix's real triumph here is successfully contorting the songs into ever more elaborate and unconventional arrangements without losing any of their classy pop impact.
  4. Very few dance albums are, and in the end, that’s what Phoenix created--a dance album, possibly the most enjoyable one since "Oracular Spectacular."
  5. The album's lyrics don’t always make sense, but then again, English isn’t their first language, and words aren’t the point here, the danceable beats and moody ambience are.
  6. It’s an approximation of what perfection might mean, which is: precise, lean, deliberate. There’s not a wasted moment here, and not one moment overstays it’s welcome, which from a bunch of aristocrats (I get) is pretty frickin’ rich.
  7. They're pleasure-pushers, filling tunes with riffs, phrases, and beats a five-year-old could love. But, on Wolfgang, those same songs are unfulfilled--and this band wouldn't have it any other way. There's beauty in a sunset. Phoenix are wringing it out.
  8. 80
    The band plainly “rocks” and on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix they have perfectly translated that ability onto their proper recorded output--for better or worse.
  9. Beyond containing the band's best, most efficient songwriting, the album also stands apart from the first three studio albums by projecting a cool punch that is unforced.
  10. The 10 songs are sleek and clean, as if the Strokes had kept pushing a little longer and maybe bought some old disco records.
  11. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a slender, fat-free affair, all Gallic swerve and subtle swagger. This may well be the album to broaden their fan-base wider then the fashionable glitterati.
  12. Essentially, the record finds Phoenix doing what they do supremely well – danceable indie-pop with touches of shoegaze guitar and ambient electro.
  13. 70
    These arch Frenchmen make precision-tooled pop that somehow retains a sense of urgency and playfulness--an impressive balancing act consistently slam-dunked by effortlessly ingratiating choruses.
  14. The bottom falls out of Wolfie's second half --'Rome' declines, 'Countdown' never reaches orbit, and 'Girlfriend,' no--but closer "Armistice" beats fresh out of the dryer on golden Versailles pogo. Merveilleux!
  15. Though the album trips lightly from slinky roller-skate jams ('Fences') to near Brit-rocky rave-ups ('Lasso'), the underlying vibe is both retro and somehow outside of time--like a memory made sweeter than the real thing it recalls.
  16. The group has polished its '60s-rock-revivalist sound to near perfection, but keeps expanding its aural palette, experimenting with layered rhythms and sonic textures.
  17. Phoenix doesn’t need to be groundbreaking to reward us with a joyous, endlessly fun album that should sit comfortably in the top 10 on everybody’s list.
  18. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve made their most pleasing record yet. It’s slick but not stupid, the results of a traditional rock band working closely with a producer of electronic music, one which merges the clean lines of dance music with the grandeur of a crack studio band well-heeled in ’70s pop and ’90s indie rock.
  19. Thomas Mars sings with a casual amiability so hard to resist that it helps carry Phoenix through some of the less immediate material on the album's back half.
  20. With Wolfgang, they’ve finally come into their own, releasing the strongest disc of their career without compromising a thing.
  21. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix showcases a band that has only gotten better with each album.
  22. Phoenix deal with an American genre on its own terms--and in its own language--far better than most homegrown bands.
  23. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, a truly marvelous album title if ever there was one, is danceable but only a little disco, synth-driven but clubland averse, an easy record to like but a more difficult one to love.
  24. Laced throughout all of it are generous, wide-eyed melodies of a kind that makes for swooning sighs and curious feelings of instant nostalgia.
  25. Uncut
    These Varsailles dwellers make records that initially seem like delicately generic powerpop, but gradually emerge as vivid, bittersweet epiphanies. [Jun 2009, p.99]
  26. Q Magazine
    It may be oversimplifying to invoke the spirit of Radiohead, but this could be Phoenix's "Ok Computer" and "Kid A" rolled into one. [Jun 2009, p.130]
  27. Alternative Press
    Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is an absolute blast, rich in ringing guitar and euphoric synths but thankfully light on fromage and staid rehashes. [Jul 2009, p.130]
  28. Filter
    Just as you're really gearing up for a night on the town with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix as your sidekick, it ends abruptly. There's only one remedy: Play it again. And Again, And again. [Spring 2009, p.94]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Jun 27, 2011
    Beautifully constructed, addictive, and just good, wholesome fun! This album is a blast from start to finish. Despite only having 9 songs,Beautifully constructed, addictive, and just good, wholesome fun! This album is a blast from start to finish. Despite only having 9 songs, this album delivers! With many catchy songs that I guarantee will stay in your head, this is a must-hear. The simplicity of this album is one key factor to why it is such an enjoyable album. The must-hear songs on this album if you don't intend to buy it (which you should!) are "Lisztomania", "1901", "Love Like A Sunset", "Countdown (Sick For The Big Sun)", and "Armistice". Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2011
    I fell in love with this album the very first time I heard it. I usually have to listen to albums a few times before I actually appreciate itI fell in love with this album the very first time I heard it. I usually have to listen to albums a few times before I actually appreciate it but with this one, I instantly found a connection. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a brilliant album. Each track sounds like a single. It's produced very well and the whole album is catchy. Thomas Mars is a brilliant lyricists and a beautiful singer. His lyrics are poetry and very subtle on the ears. It's just a wonderful listen. All In All, Phoenix has created a masterpiece. A Full Review »
  3. JakeW
    Feb 2, 2010
    Am I the only person who doesn't get this album? I really want to like it, everyone else seems to, but I just find it... dull?