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Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That (Cover Artwork)

Phoenix

Phoenix: It's Never Been Like ThatIt's Never Been Like That (2006)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: Matt_WhelihanMatt Whelihan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Maybe I've just been watching too much Yacht Rock lately, but when listening to Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That I couldn't help but think of the word smooth. Of course this isn't smooth in the Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan sense, but smooth in a hip studio savvy way. Each track is like a Sunday .
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Maybe I've just been watching too much Yacht Rock lately, but when listening to Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That I couldn't help but think of the word smooth. Of course this isn't smooth in the Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan sense, but smooth in a hip studio savvy way. Each track is like a Sunday drive with no bumps in the road. You can just set that shit on cruise control and enjoy the scenery, because Phoenix aren't going to be producing any potholes or animal carcasses. Instead, each song is compact and precise in its delivery. The momentum never wavers as each instrument rings out ultra clear and unobtrusive.

Then come the vocals.

You can't have a smooth album without some laid back and well-executed singing and Phoenix deliver in that department. The melodies are immediate and inviting as they glide over the funk-by-way-of-pop album sound leaving you feeling like vocalist Thomas Mars is sitting shotgun and telling you about his week.

If anything holds It's Never Been Like That back it is Phoenix's lack of diversity. Besides the George Michael stomp of "Consolation Prizes," the Hall and Oates soul of "Long Distance Call," and the instrumental interlude in "North" every song is based around the same stuttering up-tempo pop. In other words, if you don't like one Phoenix song, you probably won't like any Phoenix song, a problem that could make listening to It's Never Been Like a bit difficult. Still, if you are in the market for some lighter fare that is head bobbing, catchy, and of course smooth, Phoenix is well worth a listen.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SilentStorms (October 1, 2006)

I saw this review and thought HOLY SHIT someone actually reviewed Phoenix Bodies. My bad.

crippledmark (October 1, 2006)

Such a good record.

Anonymous (September 30, 2006)

I agree that it's all in the same style and there's not a lot of diversity (except for the instrumental track), but I don't agree with the 3 stars. I hate one song, you hate the album, but if you love songs like this (like I do), you love the whole album. Song after song with really catchy and beautiful melodies. Yes, really smooth, but so what.

Anonymous (September 30, 2006)

Only stupid bastards help EMI

mikeinflames (September 29, 2006)

the song about napolean had me tapping my foot
but other than that this album is fairly drawn out and boring
but most art rock is

Sir_Tam (September 29, 2006)

This album is pretty nice. Its a little boring after a while but otherwise quite fun.

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