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Phoenix - Alphabetical

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Alphabetical

Phoenix

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Alphabetical is Phoenix's second album, trailing their debut by nearly four years. It's much less of a mishmash than its predecessor, basing itself around the group's soft, cunningly arranged pop that occasionally reaches beyond '70s AM and '80s sophisti-pop to slip in discreet traces of hip-hop. During their time away, Phoenix became much more proficient as synthesists; certain moments on 2000's United seemed to signal, "Here's where we declare our love of country music," or "Here's the song where we try to sound exactly like Todd Rundgren." This issue has been fixed; the seams that bind their inspirations are now less visible. They're also much better songwriters now, but the lack of variation -- in tempo and in sound -- nearly wipes out the positives by leaving the album with a sluggishness. It's particularly troublesome if you're not in a very specific mood (not simply laid-back, but a kind of laid-back) and want to stay there for the duration of the listen. The album would've benefited from a song or two with the vigor of United's "Too Young" and "If I Ever Feel Better" to break up the monotony; and tracks three through 11 are nowhere near the high level of tracks one and two, making the album drag all the more as it plays out. If not a qualified across-the-board improvement, Alphabetical is at least a good record by a group with plenty of unrealized potential. Perhaps they should stick to singles.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Alphabetical

Phoenix

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1
Everything Is Everything
00:03:00

Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Alex Locascio, Drums, Percussion

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Run Run Run
00:03:50

Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

3
I'm an Actor
00:02:33

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Alex Locascio, Drums, Percussion - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

4
Love for Granted
00:04:24

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Alex Locascio, Drums, Percussion - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - Ivan Beck, Acoustic Guitar - Yvan Beck, Guitar

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Victim of the Crime
00:04:02

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Alex Locascio, Drums, Percussion - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

6
(You Can't Blame It On) Anybody
00:03:33

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - Phoenix (Scource), Producer

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

7
Congratulations
00:01:12

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - J.M. Mery, Additional Keyboards

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

8
If It's Not With You
00:03:57

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - J.M. Mery, Additional Keyboards - JM Mery, Keyboards

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

9
Holdin' on Together
00:03:27

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Alex Locascio, Drums, Percussion - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, A Warner Music Group Company.

10
Alphabetical
00:03:24

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Tony Hoffer, Mixer, Original Co-Producer - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - J.M. Mery, Additional Keyboards

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Congratulations (Revisited)
00:01:07

Christian Mazzalai, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Julien Delfaud, Assistant Engineer - Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Phoenix, Composer, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Writer, MainArtist - Kevin Dean, Engineer - Brian 'Big Bass' Gardner, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Tony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Anthony Hoffer, Producer, Mixer - Laurent Brancowitz, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Deck D'Arcy, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass - Thomas Mars, Lead Vocals - JM Mery, Keyboards

2004 Source une division de Parlophone Music France 2004 Parlophone / Warner Music France, a Warner Music Group Company

Descripción del álbum

Alphabetical is Phoenix's second album, trailing their debut by nearly four years. It's much less of a mishmash than its predecessor, basing itself around the group's soft, cunningly arranged pop that occasionally reaches beyond '70s AM and '80s sophisti-pop to slip in discreet traces of hip-hop. During their time away, Phoenix became much more proficient as synthesists; certain moments on 2000's United seemed to signal, "Here's where we declare our love of country music," or "Here's the song where we try to sound exactly like Todd Rundgren." This issue has been fixed; the seams that bind their inspirations are now less visible. They're also much better songwriters now, but the lack of variation -- in tempo and in sound -- nearly wipes out the positives by leaving the album with a sluggishness. It's particularly troublesome if you're not in a very specific mood (not simply laid-back, but a kind of laid-back) and want to stay there for the duration of the listen. The album would've benefited from a song or two with the vigor of United's "Too Young" and "If I Ever Feel Better" to break up the monotony; and tracks three through 11 are nowhere near the high level of tracks one and two, making the album drag all the more as it plays out. If not a qualified across-the-board improvement, Alphabetical is at least a good record by a group with plenty of unrealized potential. Perhaps they should stick to singles.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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