Some melancholic pop from Phoenix. Alphabetical is the sophomore full length from the French band, and it's getting reissued. Full synths, loads of guitars, slightly jarring grooves and smooth vocalisations. It's more stripped back and has a deeper R&B and soulful feel than their later efforts. Pick it up on vinyl LP from Rhino.
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8/10 Jack Customer review, 5th February 2015
Before Air became America's favourite French duo, Phoenix were their backing band. So when the former indie punks from the Paris suburbs debuted with 2000's United, the surprise was that they sounded neither particularly electronic nor French - singer Thomas Mars, who might have hailed from L.A. or London, had the uncanny ability to sing feverishly and tenderly in English. Alphabetical, coming after the quartet's dazzling single "Too Young" fired the karaoke scene in Lost in Translation, extends the band's blurring of '70s pop-rock intimacy and warm rhythms. From "Everything Is Everything" - which jumps with the acoustic sparkle of AM radio - to more contemplative ballads such as "(You Can't Blame It On) Anybody," these songs create a series of vivid but minimal soundscapes.
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