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Album review: Phantogram’s ‘Voices’

Smith Galtney

Two stars

Phantogram Voices

After collaborating with the Flaming Lips and Big Boi from OutKast, Phantogram—another one of those boy/girl, electro-pop units—makes a bid for the big time with Voices, its first major-label release. It’s got big-big choruses, lots of shimmery noise and icy beats that pulse with reluctance, but your ears have to work overtime to keep it all from slipping into loungey, chillout nothingness.

I was three listens in before the album’s midsection finally made me sit up, somewhat: Singer Sarah Barthel finally breaks from the hipster-chanteuse mold in “The Day You Died” and “Howling at the Moon.” Josh Carter nails a pretty sweet guitar loop in “Bad Dreams.” And how could you not like a song called “Bill Murray”? Otherwise, it all just floats by without leaving much trace, and instead of actually listening, you’re lost in thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with Phantogram.


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