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Bankrupt! (Universal)

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From its early disco singles to its last two records of killer guitar pop, Phoenix seemed to be on a continuous, upward trajectory. With Bankrupt, however, the band has taken a big step back. Each track here echoes the style and structure of 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but they end up feeling lesser in every way. Lead single “Entertainment” tries for the same club-rattling bombast of the band’s best song “Lisztomania” but falls way flat, and the instrumental build-up of the title track copies “Love Like a Sunset” so blatantly it’s irritating. Bankrupt is an underwhelming record, not a bad one, but it should’ve been much more.

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