Phoenix Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced with Andy Park, the fifth full-length release is the first in nearly 15 years for the Seattle indie band led by David Bazan.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jan 15, 2019
    100
    Bazan’s wit and compassion shine throughout a dark voyage such as this; as one witness to a brutal suicide turns to black humour, while another, in contrast, valiantly tries to retain their emotional openness in a job that often requires distance.
  2. Jan 15, 2019
    80
    It shows an artist no longer caught in his own artistic web, but someone watching his past selves struggle from a higher vantage point.
  3. Jan 15, 2019
    80
    His two band mates this time, Erik Walters of Globe and Silver Torches plus NW session drummer Sean Lane (who has played with Bazan solo and Silver Torches and many other artists), have never been associated with Pedro the Lion before. However, with Bazan on bass, they make a sound that is deeply familiar, rough-hewn and rambunctious with big bright guitar chords that punctuate moody, sharply observed narratives.
  4. Jan 24, 2019
    80
    It’s characterized by both futile resignation and hopeful nostalgia. That’s a generous way to write, and Phoenix stands as a complex, giving record backed by some of Pedro the Lion’s finest musical compositions.
  5. Mar 4, 2019
    80
    Phoenix is much more than what floats to its surface, and far greater than the sum of its parts. It's an album of stories.
  6. Jan 25, 2019
    75
    As Bazan embraces his current self by looking at his former, we learn the story of his life, and by the time the 14 tracks of Phoenix are over the picture is clear.
  7. Feb 12, 2019
    50
    Side-by-side with an "original" release, especially 2002's Control, a bit of life just seems to be missing in this resurrection.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 10, 2020
    10
    Beautiful and haunting record on childhood feelings and memories. Bazan's storytelling on this record is particularly strong.
  2. Jan 18, 2019
    9
    You can clearly hear that Bazan is reinvigorated on this record. There are some standouts. "Model Homes", "Quietest Friend" and "My Phoenix"You can clearly hear that Bazan is reinvigorated on this record. There are some standouts. "Model Homes", "Quietest Friend" and "My Phoenix" in particular made even me feel his nostalgia for the places he grew up that set the theme for the album. The entirety of it feels very cohesive, he's telling a great story and I can't wait for the next 4 in this planned 5 album arc. Expand
  3. Feb 14, 2019
    9
    Phoenix is Bazan's love letter to his younger selves. It's a chronicle of integration and of revisiting one's younger selves as a differentPhoenix is Bazan's love letter to his younger selves. It's a chronicle of integration and of revisiting one's younger selves as a different but whole, healthy person. Expand
  4. Feb 23, 2019
    8
    5th album from this Seattle, Washington band who play poignant and powerful guitar roots-rockers led by the riveting, emotive voice of David5th album from this Seattle, Washington band who play poignant and powerful guitar roots-rockers led by the riveting, emotive voice of David Bazan. These are medium-to-slow paced, heartfelt rock songs with a passionate strength that digs deep into the soul—bolstered by muscular guitars and Bazan’s uniquely affecting vocals. Members have played in Lo Tom, Headphones, The Globes, Silver Torches. Recalls bands like American Music Club, Drive-By Truckers, Starflyer 59, The Hold Steady. “Phoenix” will leave you affectionately shaking your head with deep sense of satisfaction and time well spent. Recommended. Expand