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Album Review
Give Up Your Dreams

Give Up Your Dreams
by The Phoenix Foundation

Memphis Industries

Review Date
7th August 2015
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

Despite the album’s somewhat defeatist moniker, the sixth long player from The Phoenix Foundation represents some of the band’s most uplifting and light-filled music yet. Buoyant melodies, snappy drumbeats and a squadron of swirly synths underpin Give Up Your Dreams, which is also notable for its lack of acoustic instruments. This is not your parent’s Phoenix Foundation!

But this ain’t no makeover either. Instead, the band appear to have consciously shed the weighty skin of past opuses’ Buffalo and Fandango, leaving them more agile and fresher than ever. From the lively opening salvo of 'Mountain' and 'Bob Lennon John Dylan', the album is never short of hands-in-the-air-sing-along moments. The Flaming Lips repeatedly come to mind as an influence; if not in the joyous environment surrounding these songs, then definitely in the use of some magnificently weird lyrical choices. Providing some down time from the general raucousness, tracks like ‘Celestial Bodies’, ‘Silent Orb’ and the (borderline RnB) album closer ‘Myth’ serve as reminders that the band have lost none of their ability to traverse a little deeper than most indie rock.

The end result is excellent - both entertaining and fun while maintaining all of the band’s intelligence. “An education won’t mean much when you’re drowning in the muck” snaps frontman, Sam Flynn Scott in about as succinct an example of the record’s message as you can get. Hear, hear! Check your burdensome ambition at the door and join in the fun.


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