Q's Top 20: #17 - Phoenix


As our countdown of Q's Top 20 Albums of 2013 soldiers on, we arrive at the next entry on the list... and it comes from a veteran band's highly-anticipated follow-up to a big breakthrough record. The result is a reflection on fame, chaos and world-weariness, conveyed by a band that's mature enough - and smart enough - to bring self-awareness to the table.

They are French indie rockers Phoenix, and their album Bankrupt! is #17 on the Q Top 20. Bankrupt! contains more ambitious song structures and varied sounds than ever before, which were all captured using the same console as Michael Jackson's 1982 classic Thriller.

Lyrically, Bankrupt! mixes surrealism, polemic and confession... it's a fascinating, woozy, exhausting spin through an off-kilter realm of luxury, claustrophobia, speed, exoticism, spectacle, disaster, and flash. Stream their appearance from this past spring on Q above... and watch a couple acoustic performances below.

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