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The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

Recent
News

Governors Ball Marks the Start of New York's Music Month and Summer Festival Season

The 2017 Governors Ball Music Festival promises fans the chance to hear new music from Phoenix, Lorde, and many more.

Music

The Radio Dept.: Running Out of Love

Running Out of Love is an exceptional political document that takes on the current state of the world.

Film

A Survivor Sifts Through the Ashes in the Haunting 'Phoenix'

Phoenix is an intoxicating witches’ brew, equal parts melodrama and moral parable, that audaciously mixes diverse elements to compelling, disturbing effect.

Kenneth Turan
Reviews

Governors Ball Music Festival 2014: Recap + Photos from Randall's Island

Perfect weather and fantastic music lent Governors Ball 2014 the sensation of escaping from New York, even though the island itself sits snug atop the East River.

Events

Phoenix: 2 October 2013 - New York (Photos)

Phoenix's performance at the Barclays Center can best be described as an epic event for fans, with the lead singer visiting the floor and inviting the crowd onto the stage.

Music

In Defense of Music Festival Fatigue

It's time to question how relevant these large gatherings are as the multi-band concert industry continues to expand to obnoxious heights.

Reviews

Sweetlife Festival: 11 May 2013 - Washington DC

Washington, DC’s Sweetlife Festival does things a bit differently. And that is a very good thing.

Corey Beasley
Music

How to (Be a French Pop Band and) Make It in America

Through an analysis of Daft Punk and Phoenix’s recent careers, a recipe for success may be unearthed for those French bands aspiring to win a Grammy or two.

Music

Birdy: Birdy

On her debut album full of indie-rock covers, this 15-year old proves that she can really sing; but Birdy's appeal may depend on how much you enjoy desperate, aching piano ballads, because there are a lot of them here.

Music

Whisperlights: Surfaces

Sunbaked Phoenix, AZ, septet Whisperlights clearly draws as much inspiration from geography as from etymology on Surfaces.

Stephen Haag
Music

Phoenix: iTunes Festival: London 2010

This truncated live EP hits the highlights of last year’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

Ross Langager
Reviews

Phoenix: 30 July 2010 - London

After almost a decade spent toiling away in relative obscurity, Phoenix have now well and truly asserted themselves as one of France’s greatest musical exports, a group capable of executing a performance of unarguable quality at the drop of a hat.

Sam Cleeve
Music

Strictly Global: A Source for Music Videos on Broadcast TV

The kind of show you wished MTV would make.

Reviews

St. Vincent: 11 February 2010: Phoenix, AZ

St. Vincent (AKA Annie Clark) is a magnificent performer with a talented, intelligent group of musicians by her side. I defy anyone with blood still flowing through their veins to remain still and unmoved during her performances.

Andrew Watson
Music

Phoenix: Live & Unplugged

Still riding the wave of their 2009 success, Phoenix return with acoustic versions of their greatest hits. A must for fans only.

Reviews

Secret Machines: 27 August 2009 - Phoenix

I stood in blissful repose, hundering madness all around, forgetting I was in a half-empty warehouse surrounded by Kia salesmen, drinking lukewarm Budweiser, with a giant robot looming over my shoulder.

Andrew Watson
Music

Various Artists: Kitsune Tabloid by Phoenix

Phoenix's mixtape for a hip French dance label is not what you'd expect at all.

Music

Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

And the award for Comeback of the Year goes to ...

Music

Asia: Phoenix

Easily the best Asia album in 25 years. If only it hadn't been released a quarter of a century ago.

Reviews

V Festival feat. Pixies, Beck, Nouvelle Vague, Gnarls Barkley, Jarvis Cocker, and Phoenix

PopMatters' Nick Gunn takes on the crowds and craziness, to find out what happens when Virgin's V Festival pops up down under.

Nick Gunn
Reviews

Phoenix

The French Are Coming! The French Are Coming! -- Part. 1: A war of the radios and a 'damn you' for Doug.

Ryan S. Henriquez
Music

Phoenix: Its Never Been Like That

The lack of imperfections makes these supposed lightning bolts of inspiration sound awfully, well, calculated.

Music

Phoenix: Live! Thirty Days Ago

No cries of 'Judas!' or radical reinterpretations on this live album from the amiable French band -- just by-the-book renditions of wickedly good pop.

Zeth Lundy
Music

Phoenix: Alphabetical

Ahh, the hipster lifestyle album. It's a valuable tool in the arsenal, and no discerning music fan should be without a few of them. At its best the genre can boast such classics as Air's Moon Safari and Stereolab's Emperor Tomato Ketchup, but ultimately it's an empty endeavor, its sheer ephemerality being its downfall.

Michael Beaumont
Music

Phoenix: United

On United, the music is unoriginal and the lyrics lack substance.

Erin Hucke
Reviews
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