User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37

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  1. DanE
    May 29, 2006
    10
    Simply immense. Perfect sunny pop to soundtrack the summer and leaves me smiling every time i hear it. It's Never Been Like That is one of the albums of the summer.
  2. kevink
    Jul 2, 2006
    10
    Phoenix started as a guilty pleasure - pop with a delicious twist. Like all my favourite things this last album took time but the investment paid off. They've got a heart and lives worth knowing.
  3. hellome
    May 30, 2006
    10
    It's really good!
  4. AlexA
    Jul 27, 2006
    8
    This album should've been recorded by The Strokes right after the success of their "Is This It". It would have been a perfect sequel! However, Phoenix made it and it sounds simply great. The parish boys
  5. DorianGrey
    May 28, 2006
    9
    Fantastic, although, like the best power-pop, it has no staying power...it'll give you three solid days of fun, though, and then, a few months from now, another couple of days of bliss, and so on...not the record of the year by any means, but a fine effort from a band I had consigned to a few brilliant tracks and two lackluster LP's
  6. keniy
    Jun 25, 2006
    9
    Definite Summer play! They have fully broken awy from Air - but took with the the emense production senibility. This album makes you listen much more - but once you ctach thier new vibe you're into it - Would've liked a few of the shamelessly pop songs from the previous CDs. Nothing amazing - but far better played out than most US conterparts. If you have a sunday brunch put Definite Summer play! They have fully broken awy from Air - but took with the the emense production senibility. This album makes you listen much more - but once you ctach thier new vibe you're into it - Would've liked a few of the shamelessly pop songs from the previous CDs. Nothing amazing - but far better played out than most US conterparts. If you have a sunday brunch put this on - i dont think you'll have any complaints - but your next cd better have some kick 0p at least strong contenuity. Expand
  7. mikeyj
    Jul 26, 2006
    10
    A perfect pop-rock album. The best of this genre (thus far) in 2006. It's outright anthems grab you initially... but it's the less immediate and more patient tracks that reap the most reward later on. No guilt pour moi.
  8. AmandaR
    May 25, 2006
    9
    Loved it, but really missed the funk, then got over it and loved it again :D Rock out Phoenix if it makes you happy!
  9. matta
    Jun 16, 2006
    9
    This is a solid pop rock album. Nothing more. If you want something deep and good, check out Beirut or Sunset Rubdown. These are albums with serious staying power. But as far as just a good, catchy summer album goes-this is great stuff. People who say otherwise are just trying to hard to be cool.
  10. Chris
    Aug 22, 2006
    10
    Their best work since United, this is an album by a band truly maturing both as songwriters and musicians. They rely a lot less on studio trickery and pull off a confident live act feel.
  11. Andy
    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    I dig it, but its nothing we havn't heard before.
  12. 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 without one week track, paced out beautifully without filler. The second best album of 2006 by far.
  13. 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 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.
  14. 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. 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, tracksIt'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")
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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. This is the sort of record you’re gonna put on when the sun’s shining and you just need some good old pop-rock.
  2. Phoenix still hasn’t overcome the faults of their previous efforts. [#14]
  3. 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]