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November 2018
Review

Phantogram - Three

Stripping back the influences and coming up with a more coherent sound might have helped.
Phantogram - Three
Published: 11:46 am, September 12, 2016
Stripping back the influences and coming up with a more coherent sound might have helped.

Label: Fiction
Released: September 16th 2016
Rating: ★★

American duo Phantogram appear to be on the up and up with their third album, ‘Three’. Except they’re not. They supported Muse in April this year and one would assume that they would have picked up some tips from the rockers, but apparently not. The opening track ‘Funeral Pyre’ takes itself a bit too seriously with Sarah Barthel’s vocals drifting dreamily across a mismatch of sounds and ideas that definitely do not gel well together.

Indeed, this continues throughout the album with ‘Same Old Blues’ and single ‘You Don’t Get Me High Anymore’ leaving a distinct taste of too many cooks. ‘Cruel World’ starts off as a piano ballad before becoming electro with a hip hop snare, whilst ‘You’re Mine’ has an old timey dance hall beat under juddering synths whilst Barthel and bandmate Josh Carter trade vocals. Album closer ‘Calling All’ is yet more proof that having a range of influences isn’t always a good thing with that familiar feeling of disjointed and quirky for the sake of it. There isn’t a sense of consistency across the album either, with each track seeming different from the last. Perhaps stripping back the influences and coming up with a more coherent sound might have helped. Josh Williams

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