Alphabetical - Phoenix

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 84
    Despite the '80s tag and influences worn plainly on sleeves, Phoenix always come across strangely earnest and never cheesy. [#11, p.98]
  2. As airbrushed as an Athena poster, 'Alphabetical' is nonetheless an emotional experience. [19 Jun 2004, p.57]
  3. Full of heat haze lethargy and sun scorched sing-alongs, it’s a resolutely romantic vision of the all American singer-songwriter as viewed through unmistakably French eyes.
  4. Its airily liquid, peculiarly French dance-pop is crafted to be almost entirely unmemorable at first, but upon familiarity grow into a wonderfully subtle, hook-laden album of continent-hopping (sub)urban pop which makes an ideological virtue of its superficiality.
  5. 80
    Like Bread produced by The Neptunes. [Jul 2004, p.110]
  6. Unbelievably catchy hipster synth-rock. [Sep 2004, p.136]
  7. The most sophisicated, deliciously out of step pop album of 2004.
  8. Somehow they straddle the line between fluff and absolutely essential hipness that few attempt, and even fewer succeed at.
  9. Chock full of songs that are lounging rather than strictly loungey, cosmpolitan-sounding in a wearing-aviator-shades alongside a large-haired lovely kind of way and blessed with harmonies that fall narrowly on the breezy side of melancholia.
  10. 70
    These songs create a series of vivid but minimal soundscapes. [Sep 2004, p.140]
  11. There's something admirable about a record that proves it's possible to remove grit from adult contemporary pop.
  12. 67
    Imagine if N.E.R.D... were from France and used to make house music before going soft rock. [Aug 2004, p.108]
  13. Perhaps they should stick to singles.
  14. Phoenix has created an album that is easy to enjoy whilst listening, but desperately hard to love, and impossible to remember.
  15. There are some bands who were just meant to be great pop acts -- pop in the George Michael sense, pop in the Fleetwood Mac sense. Phoenix make music that your mom would like, and it's not a bad thing.
  16. Tasty bait for those who like their pop glitzy and expensive, Alphabetical is the kind of album that proves perfect when it's playing and hard to recall when it's not.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. PhoebeO
    Mar 30, 2005
    I adore this album...and this band...this weekend I am seeing them in concert in Philly! I'm so excited!!
  2. Apr 5, 2012
    My favorite album from them and one of the best albums from the 00s. I adore it's rawness and production they've put into it. Simply an amazing piece of work. Full Review »
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    At first you would think that the mellow feel was boring, but phoenix finds a way to make the simple melodies enjoyable and memorable. I especially enjoy the use of marimba sounds in (You Can't Blame it On) Anybody and the feel of Everything is Everything. Full Review »