Freddy and the Phantoms: Times of Division Review

The Danish five-piece group operating under the moniker Freddy and the Phantoms is being compared to the many bands following in the wake of groups like Rival Sons. It’s easy to welcome a comparison like this while overlooking some of what it implies. While Freddy and the Phantoms absolutely are a solid act, and while their third offering, Times of Division, is rightly being praised as an accomplishment of modern blues, it suffers the risk of being forgotten amidst the mass of music that it’s being compared to. Times of Division is a moderate-paced, relatively safe album with a number of solid singles, and while this absolutely makes for an enjoyable rock record it doesn’t necessarily make for an extremely accomplished one. Despite all this, Freddy and the Phantoms’ music comes from an earnest place, and the moments where Times of Division really jump to life give the album its credibility.

The best example of Times of Division’s way of jumping to life is Freddy and the Phantoms’ strange knack for writing soulful hooks that pop up out of nowhere, like the “I know the river’s gonna flood” line in “Storm on the Riverside” and the repeated refrain of “we’re gonna bring you down some day” in “No Time.” Times of Division’s absolute golden moment might be the intro of its third track, “On the Sidewalk,” with its quick, rhythmic keyboard riff that eventually gives way to the record’s fist-pumping lead-off single. And it’s not that there are any particularly bad parts of Times of Division; it’s just that, with some of these colorful moments, the forgettable parts feel considerably worse by contrast. Times of Division is its own worst critic. The slow chug of “In the Attic” feels redundant in its spot immediately behind “Down Down Down.” The title track makes for an uneventful introduction, and “Sinking Ship” feels a like a forced ballad at times.

Freddy and the Phantoms have a good thing going, and the bursts of life more than make up for some of the record’s uninspired moments, which makes Times of Division a great album to have in your collection, even if only for “On the Sidewalk and the incredible closer “Morning Sun.” Times of Division is a thoughtful album from a solid band that’s proved that there’s a lot more we could potentially hear one day.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– On the Sidewalk
– Storm on the Riverside
– No Time
– Morning Sun

The Big Hit

– On the Sidewalk

Review by Richard MacDougall

Buy the album: Amazon

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