Phoenix – J-Boy

An electronic drone slowly dies, comes back to life, then squeeks quickly into death. Don’t worry, death is only the beginning, and from what we know about the forthcoming dystopian Phoenix album, “J-Boy” nails that feeling. But like the best dystopian tales, the future presented in the first unveiled track from the Versailles quartet’s sixth studio album is not too different from our own – just possibly a bit more awesome.

Pink, tangerine, and gold burst through when eyes reopen and we are met with familiarity. As you awake the world comes through in soft focus with some glittery floaters, and then Thomas Mars’ tongue twisting lyrics remind you, this is a love song.

The lyrics of “J-Boy” may need some time to be rearranged in your head, but that should come as no surprise as you have awoken to a new dawn, and Phoenix have never been ones for easily making sense. The imagery here is strong, “No more coral on the atoll”, and so is the character building, “Kamikaze in a hopeless world.” But it may be the twists of the tongue that come through the sharpest, “Do you remember the last time you laughed / And I laughed and you left and I left?”

The dreamy-eyed sentiments seem to be built from Mars’ ingrained sense of ennui, making this new dystopian world, all the more real. It also makes the unknown individual being sung about all the more spectacularly alluring.

Like Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the band is best when they find themselves in pastel colored clouds discussing the greats. “J-Boy” bursts of color and sound, and seems to breathe life into this new world.

For the galactic beauty and star bursting colors we give “J-Boy” by Phoenix 21,453 out of 23,847 newly formed galaxies we will never see.


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