Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix aims for an appeal as populist as Phoenix's garage-pop will allow. With their third album, the French quartet simply polish their sound, but do so to brilliant effect on lithe, radiant singles "1901" and "Listozmania." Comparisons to the Strokes are perhaps inevitable and certainly not unwarranted, but where the sterling sheen of the Strokes' third album, courtesy of Dave Kahne, was applied in service of nonexistent melodies, Amadeus's production only underscores Phoenix's hook-laden songwriting. The breezy simplicity on display throughout arguably belies the band's efforts—creating something this buoyant yet memorable is no easy task. But in this case, ignorance truly is bliss. And those who have been lured to attend by the recent radio singles are in for a pleasant surprise: Phoenix's back catalog isn't too shabby, either. With Amazing Baby. 18+.
Tue., June 23, 8 p.m., 2009