October 26, 2006

Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That

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Rarely does a new album by one of my favorite bands become my favorite album by that band immediately. It’s Never Been Like That is now my favorite Phoenix album.
Phoenix has officially mastered soft rock. This album is more lyrically interesting and musically complex than their previous albums, and is, quite frankly, a masterpiece. The album slowly builds to a crescendo that, brilliantly, reaches its climax at a meticulously slow instrumental track. That track, “North” is the turning point of the album and breathtakingly morphs into the feature track “Sometimes in the Fall,” an upbeat energetic rump-shaking track. However, much as I love this album, I have a bone to pick with Phoenix: It’s Never Been Like That only has 11 tracks — and the final two are repeats. The live versions are unnecessary and I wish they had written two more new tracks. That being said, I nonetheless recommend that you buy this album as soon as possible.