Phoenix : If I Ever Feel Better

Who let the '80s out?

Who let the ’80s out? At least

one fake Frenchman, Jacques

Lu Cont, has dived synth-first

into that abyss of acrylic tuneage, with his new band Zoot Woman. Now some real Frenchmen, Phoenix, have conspired to raise the spirit of ’84 and buff it to a ’01 high gloss. With their basses nestling in their armpits and their V-neck jumper sleeves rolled up to the elbow, Phoenix ought to be cast out of rock and left to fend for themselves in a barren lite-funk wasteland. Except for the fact that ‘If I Ever Feel Better’ homes in on that particularly seasonal mix of vitamin deficiency and resignation that makes January the suicide high point of the year. “If I ever feel better”, murmurs singer Thomas Mars, “remind me to spend some good time with you”, as sophisticated studio production kicks in and guitars shimmer and the gag reflex that accompanies this sort of clever-clever music subsides. Aaah, feeling better already.

Kitty Empire