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. 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]