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The Up-Turn

@TheUpTurnMusic / tinyurl.com/upturnfbook

Phoenix may have made it big with their 2009 album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.”  And while some people point to it as their best album I point to their 2006 album “It’s Never Been Like That.”  Here is a track by track review of the album.

Napoleon Says:  The album immediately opens up with a repetitive indie guitar line as the lead singer says “You know your french well”  His voice dripping with confidence and swagger.  His delivery reminds me of Julian Casablancas as you sing talks through saying “You want to be European.  I will be your Bonapart.  Dont even care about what Napolean says.”  This song is a great opener that establishes the smoothness and coolness of this band.

Consolation Prizes:  Opening with a great drum filler and chorus like back up vocals the song starts like a typical indie song when suddenly every thing stops and Mar’s vocals come in.  By this time we know that Mar’s voice demands attention and is a great tool that is greatly utilized.  This song is another great indie rock song, one of my favorites on the album.

Rally:  This song is much more of a straight forward indie rock song than the ones before it.  The hook is great as Mars sings “Standing in line I think you’re pretty, lying in bed I think you’re pretty too.”  Although this song isn’t unconventional it is incredibly solid.

Long Distance Call:  Delicate synthesizers back up Mar’s voice  as he continues to astound the listener with his coolness and ability to write hooks.  “Far gone with your long distance call, and your capitol letters keep me asking for more.”  On this song Phoenix display one of the aspects that I love so much about this record.  Many times during this record Mars repeats a single line over and over.  While for some it may not work Mars pulls it off.

One Time Too Many:  At this point many people are probably doubting that this band is from France.  They sound exactly like a polite version of the Strokes.  With this song Phoenix do something Casablancas and crew never could.  This is a great and delicate song that is a tad slower and sweeter then the songs that preceded it.

Lost and Found:  This song starts with a great and tricky rhythm section that is halted with the start of Mars vocals.  Although this song starts as if it is filler the chorus is nothing short of amazing.  This song again showcases Mar’s amazingly smooth and classy vocals.  Which are backed by appropriately complected finger picked guitar and bass parts.

Courtesy Laughs:  This is an incredibly solid song however, on an amazing album this song seems to be a slight low point.  The chorus fails to reach the epicness of those previous and it gets lost in the sea of amazing tracks.

North:  Just when their formula began to were thin North changes things up with an atmospheric all instrumental track.  The song invokes sadder senses and tones more associated with winter and fall.  This is a great song to get lost in as the atmosphere is great.

Sometimes In The Fall:  My favorite song on the album Sometimes In The Fall is a great showcase of everything that makes this band so great.  Mars sings repetitively and smoothly.  The song has an absolute monster of a hook and I have found my self singing “Sometimes in the fall, fall, fall, fall! There will be nothing to keep you far me.”  A simply amazing indie rock track.

Second To None:  After such an amazing album this seems unfitting as a closer.  This is definitely the least exciting track on the album especially after Sometimes In The Fall.  Although there is nothing truly wrong about the song it fails to carry the weight provided by the beginning of the album.

8.5/10

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