Ben Stiller reprises his role as a former model in a throwaway but amusing sequel
These men are French. Pop just got a whole lot more - how you say? - [I]sophisticated[/I].
Phoenix are four pretty French 20-somethings: best friends for ten years; share a flat together in Paris; mates with Daft Punk; played as Air's TV backing band; have one copy of 'Thriller' between them and were last year categorised as a dance act thanks to the elastic disco of their 'Heatwave' single. But if you expected more of that, well don't worry, because nobody expected anything quite like this.
Such is the group's unconditional love for, chiefly, Michael Jackson, AC/DC and The Beach Boys that parts of 'United' could be considered slavish pastiche (see the blue-eyed country-by-numbers of 'Summer Days', the Miami Vice synth'n'sax smarm of 'Definitive Breaks'). But what saves Phoenix, and what makes this an extraordinary debut, is their unique appropriation of '80s US FM rock ('Too Young') and immaculate 'Off The Wall'-era grooves ('If I Ever Feel Better', 'Honeymoon'). There is no irony here. These men are French. Pop just got a whole lot more - how you say? - sophisticated.
It’s not quite the superhero film revolution we were promised, but it sure as hell is entertaining
Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
Just as ridiculous as the 1991 original, but in all the wrong ways
The 'Oscar-bait' drama fails to fully translate the emotional weight from page to screen