Heute sei nur kurz auf das bereits seit einiger Zeit erhältliche zweite Album von Phantogram verwiesen. Hinter dem Elektro-Pop-Duo, das auch Elemente von Trip Hop, Hip Hop bis hin zu Shoegaze in seinen Sound einzuweben versucht, stecken Sarah Barthel und Josh Carter aus Greenwich, New York.
Die Kritiken sind sehr wohlwollend. Paste Magazine vergibt 8,5 Punkte...
Take the opening three songs, which, like any good writing intended for a wide audience, present a clear thesis from the top. “Nothing But Trouble,” “Black Out Days” and “Fall in Love” fold Barthel’s pained longing within a vibrant mixture of nuanced hip-hop and rock production. Synths buzz and slip, guitars cascade and lash out in minor key sheen and secondary voices are spliced high in the mix, echoing in layers. The “eh eh eh”s of “Fall in Love,” in particular, remind me of “Stay Fly”’s memorable “ah, ah ah ah, ah ah, ah ah”s. Except the characters in Phantogram’s songs are having a much more difficult time than those in Three Six Mafia’s: The forsaken lover of “Fall in Love” gets a hole cut into his eyes and burns alive in a car crash. Like the mercurial poet Robert Frost, Phantogram is, of course, “at home in the metaphor,” but still, one doesn’t have to look far to find lost love and pain between nearly every pulsating thump or tweaked sample here.
Barthel and Carter’s poetic-romantic sensibilities are easier to spot in “Never Going Home,” sung plaintively and powerfully by Carter; “Bill Murray” and the ghostly closer “My Only Friend.” Personally I prefer Phantogram’s more revved-up postures, but these songs are key if for no other reason than that they re-affirm the duo’s versatility, which first caught the attention of fans and critics in the late ‘00s.
Throughout Voices, the driving beats are top notch. Barthel’s stuttering vocals mix with cracking drums on “Black Out Days” and the whiplash inducing beat on “Howling At the Moon” demands Pusha-T in his finest “Numbers on the Board” form. Even without Pusha, “Howling At the Moon” is Voices’ star track. It’s the best rocker about lycanthropic sex since TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” and Barthel gives a performance that would make Karen O jealous.
It makes sense then, with all the surprising turns that Phantogram take on Voices that they make the album’s emotional core a slightly ironic song tingled with sadness. “Celebrate Nothing” is up there will “Fall in Love” as the most massive song on the album, Barthel’s looped “ha!” acts as the propelling force for each section of the song, Carter’s guitar trembles and expands, and a throbbing base anchors the low end. Without Barthel’s vocals the song sounds like a New Year’s send off. But then Barthel starts to ask, “How many times will I burn it down?” Though it gives potency to the song it is strange that Phantogram don’t want to party after creating Voices. They have plenty to celebrate.
Phantogram in Deutschland:
16.05.14 Köln, Luxor
17.05.14 Berlin, Lido
18.05.14 Hamburg, Übel & Gefährlich