WIDE WORLD REVIEWS ARE ROLLING IN!
Charisma in a pop song can come from a lot of different places, but when it’s sourced from the complete quality of a track rather than lyricism alone, you know you’re listening to a very special player. Nick Phoenix is certainly presenting as one of the said players in his new single “Andromeda,” … it doesn’t take too long for a storm to kick up in the chorus and pull all of us who are listening in for an up-close-and-personal vault from Phoenix into the heavens. He’s got power he can conjure up seemingly in a moment’s time… He’s got an indie soul for certain, and in a song like this one, I think he’s able to give us a healthy dose of who he is when the chains are completely off with a narrative much more immersive than what the status quo in pop music calls for nowadays.
People will try to tell you what you are or who you need to become. Fuck that. You are unique, and it is your originality that sets you apart from everyone else. If the universe wanted more of something and we already have too much of, it would’ve made you that way, but you aren’t. You are the only one of your kind, and like Nick Phoenix, that is your greatest attribute. …Wide World points people in the right direction with songs that stir the soul. … In a world where everyone is looking for the next big sound, Phoenix is doing what makes him happy, and it’s having a similar effect on us.
“Rise Up” revisits the Pink Floydish sound of the earlier songs but expands on their potential with a far grander arrangement. This sort of fare is often a hollow experience in the hands of lesser artists but strip away the production gloss from this track and you still have an outstanding song. The title song shares the same strengths. Phoenix’s lyrical statement here, as elsewhere, is every bit as important as the music and he treats it as such. His theatrical bent heard throughout the album reaches its logical conclusion here as the song is the best possible closer from these songs. Nick Phoenix’s Wide World is a winner from first song to last.
The album has a very natural ebb and flow, and actually invokes cinematic images throughout. Fans of both classic and modern rock will rejoice with this one.
-Rock At Night
Full of lush pianos and strong melodies set against impeccably crafted tracks that range from roots-pop to psychedelic rock — all topped with Phoenix’s dusky vocals and personable lyrics — Wide World is a stylish musical travelogue that handily lives up to its name. To make the album, Phoenix worked with a wonderful group of musicians, including members of John Mayer’s band and Death Cab For Cutie.
The new album is a rich, melodic love letter to Classic Rock and Americana. Phoenix says the title track ‘Wide World’ is a post pandemic anthem. He states “the song is saying Let’s get out there and see the world and live our lives – for better or worse. The pandemic isn’t quite over, but I still believe in the message of the song”. The album is piano/keyboard driven, and is a refreshing change in today’s beat-heavy music.
– Beat Magazine
Had he been born with a voice that isn’t as formidable as the one we hear in Andromeda, I don’t know that he could have dealt with the ensemble feel of this instrumental setup without sounding like a small singer in the middle of a harmony hurricane. His depth as a singer is one of the key focuses here, if not reason enough to listen to this track in the first place. Rock music’s lack of adventurousness has left a lot of listeners – myself included – feeling really underwhelmed with the content coming out of the underground and mainstream alike recently, but this is just the kind of pop-rocker to get me interested in the potential of the genre once again.
– Vents Magazine
“Andromeda” is symphonic pop-rock of the highest order. Piano returns again, albeit geared towards different ends, though we’re likely hearing an auditory glimpse of the song’s origins. The peaks and valleys are well-timed and there’s never any sense of Phoenix forcing the track forward….by the end, you can’t help but be impressed by the array of distinct emotions he conjures. It’s a vocal masterpiece for him unimpaired by post-production effects. It ends Phoenix’s Wide World on a dramatic, but never despairing, note.
– Hollywood Digest
“Rise Up”, “Andromeda”, and “That Won’t Stand” are among the tracks listeners will hear as the album’s most ambitious numbers. The first of that trio leans much more on an exhortative vocal performance than musical muscle to leave its mark on listeners. “Andromeda”, however, pushes further out into pure orchestral textures that avoid even a hint of pretension. There’s a strong Pink Floyd influence, the David Gilmour lead era rather than earlier incarnations, but Phoenix’s experiences burn brighter than any echoes of the past. Phoenix’s vocal for “If I Let You Go”, especially during the chorus, strikes a satisfying pleading note that opens up the song as a whole. It’s one of the most heartfelt and plaintive love songs in recent memory and avoids the standard tropes of the style. It is one of the album’s most commercial moments, as well, without ever sacrificing its credibility to win the listener’s favor. Nick Phoenix’s Wide World reaches for far more than your everyday pop and leaves a lasting impact on listeners that’s well worth revisiting.
On the contrary, the straightforwardness of the hook in this track creates a striking radio accessibility that could do our singer a lot of favors on the mainstream end of the spectrum, and as much as I enjoyed the substance of the song on its own, there’s even more to be said about the symbolic imagery offered to us in the music video. This is as full-bodied as they come, and a terrific addition to a summer pop playlist. Although it might have been a little safer to utilize a soft hook towards the conclusion of the track, I think it was downright provocative to give the latter half of “Andromeda” the level of imposing sonic presence as it’s got here. Phoenix is pushing this harmony as hard as he can, and when we get into the climax of the song it’s as if we’re about to feel the whole world come crashing down on our leading man – only for him to emerge from the rubble with an epilogue.
Brooding singer/songwriters are just about everywhere we look and listen in the American underground at the moment, but while the market is flooded with a lot of interesting and provocative talent, it’s still easy to differentiate the legitimate gems from the stand-ins you’ll find on the left side of the dial just about anywhere on the indie circuit. Nick Phoenix is a treasure of a rock n’ roll troubadour in the new single “Andromeda,” and despite not having listened to him before now, I can feel a sense of intimacy within his sound that seems familiar and refreshing to the ears. One of the first elements of Phoenix’s personality that caught my attention was his relative disinterest in rusticity and some of the more abjectly pastoral influences found in an emotionally charged Americana of 2022; his peers might be obsessed with these things, but “Andromeda” is devoid of such facets entirely. This isn’t a player who we need to worry about falling into synthetic dependencies when he steps into a recording space to work on an arrangement, or even something as simple as a hook, and were this not the case we wouldn’t have the slick release we’ve got in this all-new single.
-Official Fame Magazine
Let’s hope he soon tours the songs from his sophomore solo album. Wide World is an outstanding collection with something for virtually every music lover but, overall, favors theatrically driven songs with broad-based audience appeal. The title song and album opener introduce listeners to the latter. “Wide World” boasts several clear-cut influences – “classic” era Pink Floyd, Coldplay, and a little Beatles are present in this track. His musical ambitions dictate the production must be up to standard or else the whole gig is shot, but Phoenix doesn’t disappoint. His long experience scoring high-profile Hollywood blockbusters serves him well.
Born of physicality and poetic sensibilities the same, I’m impressed with what this player has to say in “Andromeda” and am hopeful he’ll follow up its release with something equally dynamic in the near future …and I’ll go out on a limb now and say this is going to be more successful for a few different reasons – the most prominent being its creator’s lack of fear when it comes to making use of eclecticisms and melody the same.
It’s refreshing to hear how well Phoenix handles that sound without ever slipping into full-on self-indulgence. Phoenix’s interest in producing an unified musical statement rather than a hodgepodge of styles is a shrewd choice. He’s trying to make a name for himself as a solo performer after years of building the reputation of his film and television music company and #1 streaming artist for that style Two Steps from Hell. There’s a lot to love about these songs and it’s an overall powerful release that shows him gathering momentum. Nick Phoenix’s songs on Wide World are those rare compositions that perfectly balance the personal and the universal in a way every listener will understand.
– Official Fame Magazine
To create a pop song is to have talent, but to shape a piece of material with everything at your disposal takes a lot of gumption inside of a studio environment that many players – no matter the genre or the level of skill they possess – just don’t have, but Nick Phoenix isn’t among that unfortunate group. He’s flexing a lot of muscle in his new single, and if you’ve been looking for something indie that steers away from the overly artsy look so many of this singer’s peers are employing, “Andromeda” is a song you might want to check out.
One of the strongest attributes of this album, for me, is its construction. There are decided differences between the album opener “Wide World” and the finale “He Knows Enough”, but there less tangible though no less important aesthetic similarities. They are conscious “definitive statement” songs without any of the attendant self-absorption dragging down such efforts. “If I Let You Go” is one of the album’s more commercial-minded tracks, perhaps deliberately so but likely not, but it’s no slight. The layered mix of emotions running through this song gives it a maturity level you rarely find with this sort of subject matter and the influence of songwriters such as Leonard Cohen is clear. Other influences such as Coldplay emerge from tracks such as “That Won’t Stand”, but don’t let such “talk” mislead you. Wearing your influences on your sleeve can be a bad thing but when an artist manages, as Phoenix does here, to transmute those influences into your own idiosyncratic songwriting, it achieves something far greater than mere imitation.
The finale “He Knows Enough” takes those ambitions to their pinnacle. It’s a track that unites Phoenix’s various strands into a single colorful thread. The second and final section of the track is its indisputable apex as Phoenix blends piano, crunching guitar, and emotional vocals as the crowning touches of the album’s greatest song. Wide World sets the bar higher than ever before for Nick Phoenix’s music, but there’s ample evidence of Phoenix possessing the necessary talents to soar even higher.