Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Picking up where Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix left off, “Entertainment” — the first single from the band’s fifth album, Bankrupt! — targets the head as well as the feet, pitting dance beats and vintage synths against Thomas Mars’ stream-of-consciousness lyrics. All the usual elements of a Phoenix single are here, from the palm-muted guitar riffs to the bubbling pop melodies, but “Entertainment” takes some unexpected turns, too. The pre-chorus is played in half-time, a move that threatens to kill the song’s momentum, and the drums drop out entirely at several points, leaving Mars to sing the hook without any sort of percussion beneath him. Those bold moves help “Entertainment” live up to its title, and the chorus — sung by Mars in his best falsetto — seals the deal. This is a club anthem for those who don’t really go to clubs, proof that Phoenix’s success hasn’t sapped the energy out of the band’s indie dance-pop.