AOTY 2019

Bankrupt!

Phoenix - Bankrupt!
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2013 Ratings: #369 / 961
User Score
Based on 289 ratings
2013 Ratings: #238
April 22, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Glassnote / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Drowned in Sound

Ultimately, whether you like Bankrupt! will, I suspect, depend on whether you prefer your pop music to be 'properly' structured, contained with a nice tidy bow and playing by the rules, or trying to see where the rules can be broken and thus constantly on the verge of an utter shambles.

90
musicOMH

They’ve taken what made Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix so brilliant, turned it up to 10, and then added a few new twists to create one of the most effortlessly enjoyable albums you’re likely to hear all year.

85
Under The Radar

Bankrupt!, the follow up to 2009's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, will sound familiar to the band's fans from the off, but also represents the first significant aesthetic shift in their oeuvre. 

80
The 405

It showcases an even more inventive and ambitious band, and Phoenix could well be about to establish themselves as the poster boys of forward-thinking synth-pop.

80
DIY

Delve deeper and this is an album reveals itself as a gem; one which mixes their crowd-pleasing hooks with an inventive shift in their sound.

80
AllMusic

Bankrupt! lets them celebrate with a victory lap that's enjoyable for all concerned.

80
Spin

The resulting album blurs the lines between simple and sophisticated more effectively than Phoenix ever have before.

75
Pitchfork

The album rarely deviates from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’s winning formula; befitting the band’s ascendant status, everything’s just that much more shiny, jacked-up, and frantic.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

Bankrupt! doesn’t inspire the covetousness of their early material, but rather it takes its natural place as an album to be consumed en masse by Phoenix’s hefty fan base. 

70
Beats Per Minute

With all the noise blasting at you, the charm is lost somewhere after the midpoint, and while the second side of the album isn’t bad, it’s notably less catchy and interesting.

70
Consequence of Sound

Bankrupt! could end up the most anti-pop pop album of the year, which is exactly as confusing as the album sounds at times. But if the choice was between confusing or boring and safe, Phoenix made the right call.

70
No Ripcord

They never lose sight of what makes a song pop in the ears, delivering an over-caffeinated, albeit logical, progression from their past efforts that actually suits them.

70
NME

Phoenix are no '80s copycats, but they occupy a sweet spot where influences and their own flashy banks of synths and treated guitars sound meaty and perfect together.

67
A.V. Club

Rather than brave new sounds, it feels like a purposeful denial of the things the group is best at.

60
PopMatters

There isn’t as much going on with Bankrupt! to rank it among the best albums by Phoenix, but it still works as a solid effort from a band getting used to being big. They’re just doing what they do.

60
Paste

Little is bad, but little is memorable or exciting or even interesting.

Plats
85
While not up to the standards of "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", "Bankrupt!" still contains the catchy hooks and beautiful production that made that record fun while adding a new wave-ish twist.

Fav Tracks: Entertainment, Trying To Be Cool, Chloroform, Don't, S.O.S. In Bel Air, Drakkar Noir

Least Fav Track: Oblique City

Score:
8.5
Exceptional
musictoliveto
86
Unfairly criticized as being a lesser achievement than Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, I think this is the greatest Phoenix album to date. It works perfectly as either its own thing or also as the counterpart to that previous record, as both run for the same number of tracks with an instrumental break in the middle. Listening to the two albums back to back shows them to compliment one another very nicely. As for what makes Bankrupt! better than its predecessor, it is more varied in its melodic ... read more
Space Vacation
78
2013 Rating: 73/100
2018 Rating: 78/100

Strong Japan vibes from this record.
Not as good as their previous two, sadly-- but I still got a few catchy songs out of it...
I can only assume their newest stuff will just get a lower rating with possibly less tracks I can go back to, might check it out might not.

Special Credit to that album cover. Big fan.

Double Special Credit because "Don't" sounds like a remixed version of the Super Sonic theme on Sega Genesis.
midsommar
91
entertainment ★★★★
the real thing ★★★★½
sos in bel air ★★★★
trying to be cool ★★★★½
bankrupt! ★★★★★
drakkar noir ★★★★★
chloroform ★★★★★
don't ★★★★½
bourgeois ★★★★★
oblique city ★★★
chlorine
91
entertainment ★★★★
the real thing ★★★★½
sos in bel air ★★★★
trying to be cool ★★★★½
bankrupt! ★★★★★
drakkar noir ★★★★★
chloroform ★★★★★
don't ★★★★½
bourgeois ★★★★★
oblique city ★★★
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Year End Lists

#21/Amazon
#22/Rolling Stone
#29/Stereogum
#41/Under the Radar
#47/Uncut

Track List

  1. Entertainment
  2. The Real Thing
  3. SOS in Bel Air
  4. Trying to Be Cool
  5. Bankrupt!
  6. Drakkar Noir
  7. Chloroform
  8. Don't
  9. Bourgeois
  10. Oblique City
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Added on: January 16, 2013