French band Phoenix were making stylish guitar pop years before they took off with 2009’s effervescent Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. "Consolation Prizes," from 2006, is an enlightening glimpse into the group’s past—with broad guitar strumming instead of fizzy synths, singer Thomas Mars crooning rather than soaring, and the sort of lively stop-start timing they’d later perfect on "1901." – Eric Grandy
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