Pedro The Lion - Phoenix
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2019 Ratings: #22 / 76
User Score
Based on 64 ratings
2019 Ratings: #39
January 18, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny

David Bazan’s return to his most widely known creative outlet, to release their first record in 15 years, is far from a cynical retreat to better-paid pastures. Turning to the past to better understand the present on Phoenix – an invigorating and tender examination of the cyclical nature of our lives – Bazan is comforting and challenging as he welcomes back (rather than desperately trying to revive) an old friend many will be very glad to be reacquainted with: Pedro the Lion.

80
PopMatters
As the narrative begins and the album settles in, Bazan's voice is more full and powerful than ever, and the return to familiar writing processes pays off.
80
Drowned in Sound

Phoenix, David Bazan’s first album in over 15 years under the Pedro moniker, indeed, feels more like a reconstruction than a revival.

80
Spectrum Culture

In place of innovation ... we get an album that begs to be dissected, teeming with life and rich detail – one that sounds exactly like what the Pedro the Lion of 2019 should sound. If this is what it sounds like when a band is “in it for the money,” we all owe capitalism a small thank-you note.

80
Paste
Though much of the album looks back on his youth, these 13 new songs aren’t a nostalgia trip so much as an effort to make sense of his present by examining the past.
80
Under The Radar
Pedro the Lion is alive. And it is emotional. Like it always was at its best.
70
Northern Transmissions
Though Pedro The Lion is already blending loud rock with more ambient and psychedelic tones, it’s the scatterbrained approach to his music right now that feels a little harder to follow.
70
AllMusic
Older, wiser, and still passionate, Phoenix is a worthy continuation of Pedro the Lion's legacy with just enough spirit to set it apart from his 2010s solo work.
70
God Is in the TV
With a troubled career and a turbulent history of line ups behind them, it’s an achievement that Pedro The Lion have managed to rise from the flames at all. Let’s hope, on this evidence anyway, that we won’t have to wait 15 years for the next one.
60
Dork
No one tells a story quite like David Bazan. ‘Phoenix’ – his first under the Pedro The Lion moniker in nearly 15 years– is a powerful return, filled with sketches of still life frozen in time and conjured from deep inside the soul.
CheapandLethal
60
Uninspiring
59
Pedro the Lion is an important name in some circles, but as someone unfamiliar with their earlier work, I honestly thought this comeback record was pretty subpar. David Bazan has the sort of gruff voice that’s not conventionally attractive, but could inspire passionate devotees. There are contexts where he could sound appealing, but over barely-there melodies and noncommittal, mid-fi, basic alt-rock arrangements, “Phoenix” doesn’t offer much to work with sonically. The ... read more
notbuzzzila
80
Haven't always loved Pedro the Lion, but now I do
75
Favorite tracks: Sunrise, Yellow Bike, Clean Up, Quietest Friend, My Phoenix
lukassantiago3
72
Soft melodies and the feeling of floating away make this record a good one.
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Track List

  1. Sunrise
  2. Yellow Bike
  3. Clean Up
  4. Powerful Taboo
  5. Model Homes
  6. Piano Bench
  7. Circle K
  8. Quietest Friend
  9. Tracing the Grid
  10. Black Canyon
  11. My Phoenix
  12. All Seeing Eye
  13. Leaving the Valley
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Added on: November 3, 2018