Phoenix’s fifth studio album ‘Bankrupt!’ falls into the fairly typical ‘indie’-rock tracks, tinged with just a few elements of synth-pop at various times. There’s some appeal to Phoenix, whose genre they work within is riddled with terrible repetitive bands. Phoenix seem to have just that little bit to offer the genre, which greatly helps in terms of separating them from the hundreds of other bands out there. The result on their fifth album is a lot of material that is simply just entertaining, and for the most part, fun and enjoyable. It is by no means a perfect album, which despite being fairly good, is riddled with flaws, but for the most part, it just generally works.
On ‘Bankrupt!’ there are many tracks that contain many elements of the ‘indie’ genre. However, it is combined rather effectively with synth-pop, which works well in Phoenix’s favor. The album features some great tracks, with some great bass guitar that ride along underneath the layers of music created by the band. The end result on the album is one that flows incredibly well, with each song complimenting the next very effectively. It is essentially a good album, that features some fairly good instrumentals, accompanied by what could be described as the normal ‘bog-standard’ type of vocal. But in fairness, the vocals don’t actually let down the album at all. I’d go as far to say that it is perhaps typical of the genre, and sounds like many previous bands. However, it isn’t enough to let the overall quality of the album down, which works in most respective rights.
As fun and enjoyable as ‘Bankrupt!’ is, it seems though that Phoenix have fallen just that little bit into trap and produced an album where a lot of the songs are just that little bit to similar. The album might flow well, but there isn’t a lot of variety in terms of music. This is mostly true for the first half of the album, which is what lets the album down mostly. ‘Bankrupt!’ takes a little while for itself to get going, but it seems that when it does, it becomes a fairly good album with some fairly good music. It is a shame then that a lot of the music is just too similar to each other, as it would be great if the album had just that little bit more variety. The highlights on the album are when the band deviate from the established sound and try some experimental ideas in terms of the instrumentals. In particular, the album’s title-track ‘Bankrupt!’ features a fairly lengthy opening, which features some interesting instrumentals. It’s moments like these that work well in the album’s favor.
Overall, ‘Bankrupt!’ is a good album, if a little dull at times. There’s enough to be enjoyed on the album, with some of the tracks being fairly good. I just cannot help but feel that there is little impact to be made by Phoenix as a band, and that the album fails to really deliver. What there is to be enjoyed on the album is certainly good, but the flaws on the album stand out just a little too much to really elevate the album. It seems that ‘Bankrupt!’ is simply just too much of an average album, which isn’t neccesarily a bad or terrible thing. It’s just nothing that is that impressive.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5