Look. We here at SOTC are perhaps unnecessarily protective of French maximal-pop stars Phoenix, architects of perhaps our single favorite album of 2009 (Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix) and, therein, perhaps our favorite track of last year, the two-part arena-ambient masterpiece “Love Like a Sunset.” Evidence of our devotion abounds. It’s great that they’ve met with such wild success. It’s great that they’re headlining Madison Square Garden October 20. And initially it was great to learn this morning that they were offering a new track, for free, titled “Love Like a Sunset Pt 3.” Perfect. Awesome. Except the song itself is lousy.
Not to entirely dissuade you, of course — get the track and see for yourself. (After selling out your principals with a ReTweet, of course.) But the result is a tremendously bland techno remix, wantonly shuffling around the various components of an eight-minute track nearly unrivaled in its sense of tension and momentum, draining the result of both, like a great movie with the reels shown in random order. The Godfather III comes to mind, alas. Give me “The Unforgiven III” any day, in that there wasn’t a whole lot there to desecrate to begin with. Please head to MSG on the 20th to voice your displeasure in person, whereupon they’ll play the first two parts of “Sunset” and remind you why you found the third part so offensive in the first place.