Phoenix is the first album from Pedro The Lion in 15 years. The album is a collection of memories and experiences from David Bazan’s (singer/songwriter) past. In this collection of tracks about Phoenix, AZ, the music explores things that happened in the earliest parts of his life.
Honestly, there’s not much to critique musically. Everything sounds tight and well-produced as one would expect from someone who has been making music for nearly 25 years.
There’s something I’ve been trying to put my finger on with how this record sounds and I think it comes down to the energy and delivery of the lyrics that just don’t resonate. “Quietest Friend” is the best example of when things do work on the Phoenix, and it is one of the best tracks on the album.
It’s also one of those things where the core concept just doesn’t hook me either. The idea of doing an album with stories of your youth isn’t strange or out of the ordinary but to have one from just one locale and a series of albums on the horizon for the other places you’ve lived isn’t appealing (at least to me).
The album is what can expect with this concept, and that’s part of why I’m not excited about it. I might spin a couple tracks in a playlist or two but probably won’t seek it out again until the next one, if that.
If anything, Phoenix does try to pick up in the last couple tracks, but then closes out with “Leaving The Valley,” which is an extended, melodramatic piece about his departure from the arid city.
I’m sure there are bigger fans of Bazan’s music who are excited to have new content from Pedro The Lion but this one just isn’t sticking for me and it’s time I move on from Phoenix.
Favorite tracks: Clean Up, Quietest Friend, My Phoenix