The hype swirling around this band has been incredible. From the continual advertising on my space to their film appearance in the upcoming Sophia Coppola movie, Marie Antoinette, the buzz has been on Phoenix. I admit it, I fell for it. I loved the band before even listening to their most recent release, It’s Never Been Like That.
It’s a shame that after listening to it, I’m not really sure what to think of them. The album is a nice foray into mainstream pop music. I don’t really care for mainstream pop music though. I listened to this record five or six times (it’s a mere 40 minutes long) before coming to the conclusion that I don’t understand the appeal of Phoenix.
Musically, they sound pretty tight with appealing vocals by Thomas Mars. You would think this would be enough to secure Phoenix’s position hold on a rock and roll standing, but it doesn’t. Somehow the two don’t blend and the lyrics come off as rushed and fake. Their saving grace is “North,” bent with a smooth jam appropriate for a daydream. “Sometimes in the Fall” is an attractive track as well, but all in all, this is one release in which I would advise everyone just to not believe the hype.