Monday, March 3, 2008

Feature Album Review - The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending


New Zealand is often recognised for generating a diverse range of quirky music. Wellington based six piece, The Phoenix Foundation clearly aren’t in any hurry to dispel this well worn stereotype. At least not if their new album, Happy Ending, is anything to go by.

Happy Ending is the third full length release from these much loved indie darlings and is undoubtedly the brightest so far, full of the kind of colour and light great pop songs are born from.

The album as a whole is a lusciously produced experience, one I have to say I find myself easily lost within.

My standout tracks would have to include ‘Bleaching Sun’, the overtly catchy ‘40 Years’, ‘Irrelevant Noise’ and ‘Burning Wreck’ but none of them manage to surpass the beautiful opening track, ‘Bright Grey’. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard such a beguiling start to an album.

‘Bright Grey’ is positive and cynical, true and tortured, it exists and it breathes. Where there is music there is life and I have to say I love that.

I’m not sure if it’s just me but I always feel a sense of history while listening to The Phoenix Foundation. Their songs are always full of little musical sign posts, the likes of which can lead you to many interesting places if followed accordingly.

It’s more then simply wearing their musical influences on their sleeves. It’s an entire culture. It’s obvious music runs deep in their creative veins. They love it as much as their listeners and it’s difficult not to get caught up in something like that.

Happy Ending is the kind of album which can put a smile on your face. It may come with it’s fair share of flaws but then again what doesn’t. If you’re looking for something relatable that also has the ability to brighten up your day then giving The Phoenix Foundation a chance is advisable.

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