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Album Review: “Three” by Phantogram

Grade: A

The town of Greenwich, New York has been host to a variety of artists, but many might not know about the electro rock group that hails from the area known as Phantogram. This dangerous duo gives the genre a spooky spin with their latest album “Three” which was released recently on Oct. 7. This album comprises of 10 songs, totalling 36 minutes of creepy upbeat jams.

The release has come just in time for this haunted season, too. Even the labels Phantogram worked with prior to their newest work, such as independent record label Ghostly International, scream Halloween. The group collaborated with them on their debut album “Eyelid Movies.”

A special twist with this third album are songs featuring fellow artists. “Three” is the first album Phantogram have invited outside musicians to participate in. Such artists include Darby Cicci of The Antlers, superstar session drummer Matt Chamberlain, Dan Wilson of Semisonic fame and Ricky Reed from Wallpaper.

“Funeral Pyre” starts out with deep echoing chords that inspire a ghostly feeling, as if you’re walking through a cemetery past dark while being followed. Phantogram keyboardist and vocalist Sarah Barthel’s powerful, elongated vocals pierce through the keyboard and tech effects giving the singer a powerful presence.

Next was “Same Old Blues” — a bluesy track sewn together with a rock song right down the middle. I wasn’t entirely sure how I feel about this song, simply because every other major section is alternated. The sections with less background feed are quite enjoyable and generally the techno and electro boards used create great sound mashes.

“You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” is an incredibly fun song. Empowering and upbeat, it draws you in with its powerful club mix intersections that fall between the choruses. This is definitely something I will be expecting to air in the clubs around Halloween.

“Calling All” feels like a goofy testing session. Belonging in a darker club scene, the vocal style failed to match the background effects and came across as very simple. In between chorus segments, though, the complexity of the mashing of effects and vocals matches that of “Funeral Pyre.” Sadly, those sections are very short.

If you are looking for a true rock ballad, check out “Run Run Blood.” This is the single that I find represents that genre the best from the album, because it’s upbeat, powerful and something you can blast through your amp.

This album is something else. For my first experience in electro rock, I can only say an enthusiastic “yes.” This album is a great intro for anyone who has not experienced anything from this mixed format. My favorites were definitely “Funeral Pyre,” You’re Mine” and “Calling All.” “Three” will set you up for a great time, a great party, or a great night out. It is definitely something to check out this Halloween season.

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