Phoenix Unplugged at SPIN HQ!

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Phoenix
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

2009 is Phoenix's year.

The French pop-rock group jumped from cult faves to mainstream darlings on the strength of their excellent album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which landed at No. 3 on our 40 Best Albums of 2009 list.

After playing to massive crowds all year, including stops at Saturday Night Live and Bonnaroo, the quartet recently stopped by SPIN's NYC office for an intimate four-song acoustic set.

Chatting with SPIN staffers between songs, the boys strummed through a stripped-down version of "One Time Too Many," a wistful love song from their 2006 album It's Never Been Like That, plus their two now-ubiquitous Amadeus singles: "Lisztomania" and "1901." "It's a song about Paris," said frontman Thomas Mars, introducing the latter. "Paris in 1901 was better than it is now. So the song is a fantasy about Paris."

Phoenix closed with a special treat: a touching version of "Playground Love," which they co-wrote with their pals in Air for The Virgin Suicides, the 1999 film directed by Mars' girlfriend, filmmaker Sofia Coppola.

Watch the videos in the player below, then tell us what you think in the comment section!

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