Having established themselves as both media darlings and favorites with alternative music fans everywhere, Phoenix continue their genre-hopping explorations with their third and most direct album to date. It's Never Been Like That features ten perfectly crafted soulful rock songs with a hint of Americana and the occasional nod to the `80s-inflected stylings of their 2000 debut United. Phoenix will be devoting plenty of time to their American release campaign including tour dates, advance press, online and radio promotions with the additional benefit of an artist development list price.
Warning: Even limited exposure to this French band's music is liable to turn the listener into a crazed zealot desperate to "just turn people on" to their music or to wander about aimlessly wondering aloud why they're not at least as well known as, say, Erlend Oye. The band's been relentlessly eclectic since they formed in the late '90s; they make hybrid music, an electronic-flavored rock that's impossible to describe without using up half a dozen hyphens in the process. It's their most straight-ahead, "rock"-sounding release, and if your first thought is that it wouldn't hurt if It's Never Been Like That
had a little bit more of a cocaine disco unicorn vibe to it, give it another listen. This record is an effortless-sounding, mini-masterpiece that mixes art song elements with delightful retro-pop. And it's scary how simply and truly great it is--easily amongst the best albums of 2006. --Mike McGonigal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.