Phao “Playing With Fire” Album Review

           Phao, a pop rock trio from Canada, with influences from Anberlin, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday and Story of the Year, released their full length album Playing With Fire on June 19th and I had the pleasure of getting a copy! I also had the opportunity to ask Mike Gnandt some questions and get some insights to the record.

            Playing With Fire is a record that has a little something for everyone.  It has some songs that are on the rougher side like “Backbone”, “Too Late” and the title track, “Playing With Fire” as well as some softer songs such as, Mike Gnandt’s favorite song off the record, “For You” feat. Hello Kelly where he says, “‘For You’ gave us the opportunity to write and record with Hello Kelly, whom we respect both musically and personally, on a song about the difficulties of our profession and our total commitment to our listeners and supporters. It was an honest song for us to write as a band and a great way for us to say thank you to our fans.” For Phao, musicality means a lot to them and it shows in this record. Gnandt said, “Musically we really wanted to focus on things like energy, impact and scale with Playing With Fire. For us, when ‘Rock’ records start to feel like ‘Pop’ records, they lose their lyrical and instrumental potency. We were excited to flip that trend on it’s head and try to make a ‘Pop’ record that feels like a ‘Rock’ record.” With the lyrics that are in the songs, Phao tried to connect with their fans through the lyrics on this record. “I’ve always admired lyricists who are vivid and visceral with their words.” Gnandt explained, “I’m inspired by that bravery and honesty that just completely connects an artist and the listener.” All around, Phao’s new record Playing With Fire is one that should be checked out. It has something that everyone can enjoy and has lot of hard work put into it.

-Kj M.

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