It's Never Been Like That Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the third studio album for the French synth-rock band.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. It's Never Been Like That has the necessary edge of real art, but it's approachable right down to the final song, "Second To None," with its deep echo and thin lines.
  2. Their performances sound more confident than ever.
  3. Its charms sink their teeth in fast and deep.
  4. One wonders if the qualities that make Phoenix appealing--breeziness, insouciance--will ultimately translate into enduring music. [26 May 2006, p.105]
  5. If there were ever an album that fulfilled the requirements for a “summer album,” this is it; Phoenix offers songs that offer little in the way of innovation or substance but a wealth of top-notch musicianship, catchy melodies, and transcendent choruses.
  6. 60
    The overwhelming sense is of a group needlessly hobbling themselves. [Jun 2006, p.110]
  7. A puny, ill-conceived record in comparison to both Alphabetical and its predecessor United.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 18, 2013
    It's Never Been Like That is an excellent follow up to their first effort, United, though it differs in style and production quality. Whereas United had areas that were rough around the edges, It's Never Been Like That feels finished and well polished. Phoenix begins to carve out their niche in cheery rock-pop with tracks like "Consolation Prizes" and "Rally". Later in the album, tracks such as "Sometimes in the Fall" grow more introspective, as well as "North", which paints a beautiful snow-scape as the only instrumental on the album.

    All considered, It's Never Been Like That does a good job at what it was trying to do- develop Phoenix into a well rounded group capable of rock-pop that pleases anyone with an ear for music.

    (The phrase "It's Never Been Like That" surfaces on the track "Long Distance Call")

See all 14 User Reviews