It's Never Been Like That (2006) On It's Never Been Like That , their third studio album, France's Phoenix once again give the lie to those who contend the French are… 2006-05-23 Phoenix Rock
Music Review

It's Never Been Like That (2006)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: May 23, 2006; Lead Performance: Phoenix; Genre: Rock

On It's Never Been Like That, their third studio album, France's Phoenix once again give the lie to those who contend the French are incapable of producing rock music of lasting value. Or do they? There's no denying the band's melodically potent, blithe guitar-pop goes down easy, or that songs like ''Sometimes in the Fall'' have a seductive charm that keeps you coming back to them. And few bands of any nationality are capable of transforming a seeming throwaway instrumental like ''North'' into something both artful and compelling. Still, one wonders if the qualities that make Phoenix appealing — breeziness, insouciance — will ultimately translate into enduring music. Check with us in another 10 years or so.

Originally posted May 19, 2006 Published in issue #878 May 26, 2006 Order article reprints