Yeah Yeah Yeahs + Phoenix | Track reviews
Neo-garage trio’s new gospel and a French band’s Asian-themed arena-filler.
Published: March 7, 2013
A few years ago, it was impossible to avoid the Phoenix song “1901.” You know, the one soundtracking that Cadillac SUV commericial? At that point it seemed as if the French band could do no wrong with its agreeable pop, and perhaps giving its comeback single the title “Entertainment” is a sly acknowledgment of that. Bookended by “the oriental riff,” summoning memories of David Bowie’s “China Girl,” the track alternates between dense swirls of piercing electronics mounted atop galloping drums and politely chirping guitars that set the stage for singer Thomas Mars, whose casual whine glides from high tenor to falsetto. Like “Sacrilege,” Phoenix tosses on a mass of voices toward the end, but it has nothing to do with church. If anything it’s a cue for you to sing along, an unsubtle prompt for this summer’s festgoers to hoist their cell phones up in the air, either as a stand-in for lighters or to document the entertainment on display.