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It's Never Been Like That

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Album Review

After avoiding the sophomore slump with relative ease, Phoenix return with their third release stripped of the post-disco house sound that helped to define them, focusing more on the songwriting side of things than any sort of dancefloor-focused groove. In fact, it takes until the fourth song, "Long Distance Call," for anything resembling a dancefloor beat to appear, and when it does it feels like an epilogue to the wonderful "If I Ever Feel Better" off the group's debut record. The band has definitely learned a thing or two through its evolution, placing more of an emphasis on guitar than before (Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai sound as if they've been in the woodshed studying the chops of Johnny Marr and the twin-guitar attack of the Strokes' last few records), and their performances sound more confident than ever. Gone are the sluggish country-infused downtempo numbers, replaced with a more even-keeled track sequencing and tempo throughout — almost as if they've been able to focus on the things that make the band so engaging to begin with, monopolize on them, and move forward in a refreshing and vibrant direction.

Customer Reviews


why are there no reviews for this album??! it's fantastic by the way

Sounds great!

Got into this album after they released Wolfgang Amadeus and it's great seeing how their sound evolved. I love "Long Distance Call" too much! Thumbs up!!

Seriously Underrated!

This album is a real gem. Wolfgang is by far there most mainstream and popular album but this one has a lot of there best work on it. North is probably my favortite song by them, and it doesn't even have lyrics. Just pure bliss. Consolation prizes, one time too many. The list goes on. This album is great and I wish it was more popular.


Formed: 1995 in Paris, France

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The French group Phoenix draw elements from their eclectic '80s upbringing to arrive at a satisfying blend of rock and synthesizers. Vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist Deck d'Arcy, and guitarist Christian Mazzalai were a garage band based out of Mars' house in the suburbs of Paris. Mazzalai's older brother Branco joined the band on guitar when his band Darlin' disbanded in 1995. The group got its touring start on the French bar circuit doing Hank Williams and Prince covers to drunken audiences. Two years...
Full Bio
It's Never Been Like That, Phoenix
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Customer Ratings