It's Never Been Like That

Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Mojo
    40
    For all the frenetic energy, lush orchestration and earnest vocals, however, It's Never Been Like That has the feel of the work of a hollow band. [Jun 2006, p.110]
  2. New Musical Express (NME)
    60
    If 'It's Never Been Like That' is a failure, at least it's not a boring one. [20 May 2006, p.31]
  3. If you enjoy the genre and can stand the glare bouncing off the album’s shiny surface, you’ll likely find plenty to like in It’s Never Been Like That.
  4. Q Magazine
    60
    If It's Never Been Like That sees them rocking out by their own standards, they're still a sweat-free prospect by most others. [Jun 2006, p.118]
  5. All that's standing in the way of a major breakthrough is a certain facelessness, exacerbated by Mars's reticent style.
  6. Uncut
    60
    The overwhelming sense is of a group needlessly hobbling themselves. [Jun 2006, p.110]
  7. Under The Radar
    60
    Phoenix still hasn’t overcome the faults of their previous efforts. [#14]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 18, 2013
    8
    It's Never Been Like That is an excellent follow up to their first effort, United, though it differs in style and production quality. WhereasIt'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.

    P.S.
    (The phrase "It's Never Been Like That" surfaces on the track "Long Distance Call")
    Full Review »
  2. ShaneL
    Oct 20, 2006
    10
    I just came across this bank on XM Radio, XMU. I can't quit listening to it, and its the first time a cd's been good enough to buy I just came across this bank on XM Radio, XMU. I can't quit listening to it, and its the first time a cd's been good enough to buy off i-pod just because I can't wait to get to the store. I love cool new music, just rare to find anything mainstream anymore. Full Review »
  3. SeamusS
    Sep 20, 2006
    10
    An inescapably catchy album filled with some of the most brillaint and fast hooks in my knowledge of contemporary pop. The album flows An inescapably catchy album filled with some of the most brillaint and fast hooks in my knowledge of contemporary pop. The album flows without one week track, paced out beautifully without filler. The second best album of 2006 by far. Full Review »