Album Title: It's Never Been Like That
Release Date: May 15, 2006
Genre: Rock
This third studio album by the Parisian quartet Phoenix hits you right away with the dual-guitar attack on "Napoleon Says" and doesn't let up. Recalling the sounds of early 80s new wave music (and also reminiscent of The Beautiful South from the early 90s), you get the sense that this album was meant for live performance by its stripped down two guitars-bass-drum arrangements.

Each track vigorously churns along with energy and enthusiasm, straight as an arrow, with the rawest of arrangements, easily accessible and appealing, making one want to thump along. Singer Thomas Mars keeps us entertained with fun yet insightful lyrics. It's probably one of the most honest albums I've heard in a while.

One note on the instrumental "North": it almost sounds like a track where the vocals carried the melody but were removed. The basic rhythm section, although well played, left me wondering where the song was going.

"Long Distance Call" is the first single serviced to radio to alt-rock radio so keep your ears open. And be sure to catch Phoenix when they swing through Eastern Canada this September.

Writer: DJ Richie Dynamite

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