It speaks to their attention to detail and certainty in what they want. Voices is a record that sounds as natural as it sounds labored-over. A song like "Celebration," for instance, is like a cathartic outpouring, with keys soaring over a pulsing beat as Barthel asks, "How many times can I blow it all? / How many times can I burn it down?" It's arresting. Then you've got songs like "Howl At The Moon," where the pair's songwriting chops and trip-hop leanings are both on display. It's all rattling drum machines, clanking bells and drones, and around the 2:20 mark, they come as close as they'll get to a breakdown with a funky Daft Punk-ish synth rhythm.
Both of those songs reflect the darker, heavier sound that permeates Phantogram's second full-length record. They set the tone straight away with the album opener, “Nothing But Trouble,” and pick up the tempo to dance speeds less than they have in the past. A slow-motion dance scene could be set to the jagged guitar bits of “Nothing But Trouble.” There are just a couple -- most notably “Falling In Love” -- that you might really be able to dance to.
Phantogram hasn't totally shaken things up, but the heavier turn on Voices is pretty satisfying, and their songs are as engrossing as ever.