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New Record Roundup: Phoenix, Kanye, Queens of the Stone Age

Choice soundtracks for the year's remaining half: Kanye, Phoenix, Queens of the Stone Age, Sigur Ros, and James Blake
by Camille Banzon | Jul 2, 2013
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The last couple of months have been quite colorful for the music industry as chart toppers and indie favorites return with full-length records. The selection of new material from various artists is overwhelmingly pleasing, and we review some albums that are worth your attention.

From rap king Kanye West to instrumental prophets Sigur Ros, here are five fresh albums waiting to be included in your rainy season playlist:

1) Phoenix – Bankrupt!
And the neon-tinged 80s dance party continues

The French rockers are back with their fifth record, Bankrupt!, and it has “80’s dance party” written all over it. This collection of songs is synth-heavy and energetic without losing the indie disco feel that made Phoenix a soundtrip-favorite among the hip(sters). In most of the songs, slow tempos follow fast and curly beats accompanied by calm and fluid vocals.

The keys and synth in the first track, "Entertainment," feature high-pitched Chinese-style patterns that will almost take listeners to where kung-fu is transformed into dance. "The Real Thing" and "Trying To Be Cool" direct the melody vortex into the new wave era with organ pre-sets and thumps borrowed from the likes of Roxette and Bowie.  "S.O.S in Bel Air" has the same feel, only with a faster, more danceable beat that urges even the stiffest of souls to dance.

“Buckle up, we'll chase each other/ It's not a lot it's just enough to matter,” sings vocalist Thomas Mars in the catchy tune, "Chloroform,"a track that flies listeners back to their highly successful 2009 release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

The record has a vibrant personality, with the kind of transition and pace that will get your loafers beating, heads bobbing, and neon-colored nails waving.

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