Phoenix
Alphabetical


3.5
great

Review

by Jonathan Piccolo USER (1 Reviews)
October 21st, 2012 | 24 replies | 2,371 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This Sophomore effort is one that goes from Synth-Rock to contemporary adult pop... and that isn't a bad thing, since they pull it off smoothly.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Phoenix is a french Indie Pop band from Versailles, France. Frontman Thomas Mars, bassist Deck d'Arcy and guitarist Chris Mazzalai formed a garage band playing out of Mars' house in the suburbs of Paris. Brancowitz, Mazzalai's older brother, joined the band in 1995 after a failed attempt of Darlin; a short-lived band with Thomas Banghalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo. Guy-Manuel and Thomas later formed a duo who we know today as Daft Punk.

Alphabetical, their second album, is a mid-tempo 80's driven contemporary pop album driven by melodic hooks. The lyrics are well thought and have great poignancy. The single off this album, opener 'Everything is Everything' is the catchiest song on the album. With its acoustic guitar jazz chords, Mars' crooning vocals with a slight french accent , and even a dose of the triangle, it's a catchy, hook-driven pop song. Another song that grabbed my attention is 'Holdin' on Together', it has a nice melody throughout the duration which fits well in a laid-back album such as this. Although it probably should have been put up higher in the track listing because some listeners will feel the album drag monotonously until track 8. The album does suffer a little from being monotonous. You can notice it starting to feel that way starting from tracks 4 to 8. 'I'm an Actor' is toned down and builds up to what seems to be grown men holding on falsetto harmonies so long, they could possibly turn green. 'Run, Run, Run' has a cool Moog-squelch bass line, with a couple of claps throughout, and its hook ''I think i better. run, run, run," it's a laid back song.

Overall, this album is Phoenix's Weakest of their four. Phoenix fans will enjoy it, but if you're against pop of any sort you'll probably dislike this. The record can be enjoyable, though most people will need to be in a specific mood to listen to this album. It doesn't always have to be good lyrics; a jam can come from anything. It's a comfortable Parisian cool laid-back record.

Recommended Tracks:
Everything Is Everything
I'm An Actor
Run, Run, Run


Band members:
Thomas Mars (Vocals)
Deck d'Arcy (Bass)
Thomas Hedlund (Drums)
Christian Mazzalai (Guitar)
Laurent Brancowitz (Guitar)
Jonathan Chavez (Keyboards, Percussion)


user ratings (93)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
peaks40
October 20th 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is my first review, feedback is more than welcome, please be objective though

toxin.
October 20th 2012



11801 Comments


This review is plagued by bad grammar, a lack of flow, unprofessionalism (e.g., "yes i said triangle), and minimal content.

I mean you actually have some decent points at the core, but by no stretch of mind could I consider this a good review.



peaks40
October 21st 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well, i'll take it with a grain of salt

peaks40
October 21st 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i see the bad grammar, i didn't read it over at all though, minimal content okay, unprofessionalism? for once sentence? lack of flow? whatever its only my first

Ecnalzen
October 21st 2012



5846 Comments


"The first track ''Everything Is Everything'' is the single off this album, possibly the best song as well, is catchy, hook driven, soft pop song, and has a tremendous acoustic guitar jazz chords, a little bit of triangle,yes, i said triangle, and Mars' soothing french crooning vocals, all adds up to a great song."

This is a HUGE run on sentence. Maybe try something more like this:

The first track ''Everything Is Everything'' is the single off this album and possibly the best song as well. It's a catchy, hook driven, soft pop song that has tremendous acoustic guitar jazz chords and even a little bit of triangle (that's right, I said triangle) for good measure. Throw in Mars' soothing french crooning vocals and it all adds up to a great song.

You could talk more about your recommended tracks to flesh this out some more and give it more content. You only mention two of them in the actual review and you barely touch on the second one. You could explain why they are the highlights to you and why you are recommending them to the reader.

peaks40
October 21st 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks, i don't write too often so these pieces of advice help

Ecnalzen
October 21st 2012



5846 Comments


Glad I could help. I am always a bit nervous about giving criticism. I've seen some people get super pissed and get in huge fights in the comments section more than a few times, lol. Anyway, once you start to get a writing style down it will come a bit more naturally.

toxin.
October 21st 2012



11801 Comments


"i see the bad grammar, i didn't read it over at all though, minimal content okay, unprofessionalism? for once sentence? lack of flow? whatever its only my first
"

Unprofessionalism: Here's another example:
"if you're against pop of any sort, you'll probably dislike this, Indie pop is quite enjoyable in my opinion, It doesn't always have to be good lyrics, a jam can come from anything, even triangles. "

It's just like writing for college or high school; just avoid first and second person. People effectively can do it, but you have to have solid grip with the nuances of formal writing for it sound professional.

Lack of flow: It's hard to really define what flow in writing is. I guess I'd describe it as each sentence smoothly connecting to the next (both grammatically (syntax) and conceptually (ideas)). Reading it feels jumpy. Maybe it's easier to describe what isn't flow. If your review jumps from one point to another or is choppy (yours isn't choppy, but it's instead grammatically incorrect with run-on sentences, which isn't better), or the sentences don't feel like they're connected, that's bad flow. Conceptually your review has okay flow. The sentences form logical paragraphs, so that's good. But within sentences, there's no sense of organization. Here's an example:

"Another song that gets my attention is ''Holdin' on Together'', it sounds like something they've done before, but the nice melody keeps it afloat"

Usually a "but" indicates a full 180 on a position. In your case, you imply it's a good song ("gets my attention" which should be cut out or rephrased), and then list a negative. So when you give the "but" I'm expecting something great about it that balances out the first part. Instead you give it "a nice melody that keeps it afloat." So this nice melody, that only barely keeps it afloat, makes the song good enough to "get your attention"? Again, phrasing.

If you want some real feedback, I really recommend you focus on being grammatically correct. It's hard to take you as a reviewer seriously if your conclusion has six sentences and only two periods.

peaks40
October 21st 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay, I know this can be useful for more than this site only, writing in general, so yeah i get the flow thing, and unprofessionalism much clearer

Ecnalzen
October 21st 2012



5846 Comments


I think the main thing is your run-on sentences. Don't be afraid to use a period and break some of those up, lol. You are giving a little too much love to the comma here.

peaks40
October 21st 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i do that everywhere,,,,,, it's my best friend lol

toxin.
October 22nd 2012



11801 Comments


"okay, I know this can be useful for more than this site only, writing in general, so yeah i get the flow thing, and unprofessionalism much clearer"

That's the reason I write here. I don't think I'll ever be "knowledgeable" enough about music and the music scene to be a staff writer here. And I wouldn't want to commit that much time to Sputnik. But I do enjoy writing reviews here (when I'm inspired, of course) because it helps sharpen my writing skills. I find speaking echoes writing too. In 10th grade, my teacher was a really, really harsh grader but an excellent teacher, so my writing improved tenfold. I realized when I was having intelligent discussion, I could speak more eloquently and express myself better.

So there are many reasons for you to heed any advice given to you (that isn't bad advice) about your writing, whether or not you really care about being a good writer.

Just work on using better grammar first. That's the easiest thing to do, and it'll make your writing noticeably better. Like Ecnalzen said, you have run-on sentences---well more accurately, comma splices---everywhere, so fix that.

(Note you can edit your reviews, so feel free to fix things up. I might end up pos'ing if you clean it up enough.)

peaks40
October 22nd 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay, i touched it up a little, still im sure there's plenty of errors. feel free to point them out, it's still short on content.

toxin.
October 22nd 2012



11801 Comments


It's much better. It makes giving some actual suggestions better. Here I'll give you some.

"What to some at first listen might seem like cheesy lyrics, more than one listen you will notice how exquisite they are."

Uh, this sentence is just awkwardly phrased. This is my own rephrasing of the sentence; you can use it or change it.
"What at first appear to be cheesy lyrics reveal themselves to be exquisite upon multiple listens."

"The first track ''Everything Is Everything'' is the single off this album, possibly the best song as well, is catchy, hook driven, soft pop song, and has a tremendous acoustic guitar jazz chords, and a dose of triangle. Mars' soothing french crooning vocals all adds up to a great song."

This is a comma splice. The formatting is messy so it's hard to say for sure. Here's how I'd rephrase it:
"The single off this album, opener 'Everything is Everything' is possibly the best song on the album. With its tremendous acoustic guitar jazz chords, Mars' soothing French crooning vocals, and even a dose of the triangle, it's a catchy, hook-driven, soft pop song."

Most of the main sentences still have grammatical issues, so I recommend you carefully read them and figure out where the mistakes are. One little thing to note:

Probable is an adjective. In this review, you're looking for probably, the adverb.

Ecnalzen
October 22nd 2012



5846 Comments


"driven by Melodic hooks"
-Pretty sure ^ is unnecessarily capitalized.

"The first track ''Everything Is Everything'' is the single off this album, possibly the best song as well, is catchy, hook driven, soft pop song, and has a tremendous acoustic guitar jazz chords, and a dose of triangle. Mars' soothing french crooning vocals all adds up to a great song."
-This is still a bit messy. Especially the last sentence. Toxin and I both gave you a pretty different spin and how you could rewrite it, maybe you could try basing it more off one (or both) of them.

"Another song that gripped my attention"
-Maybe it's just me, but "gripped" feels awkward here. I would say grabbed or caught instead, but that could just be nit picking on my part.

"Phoenix fans will enjoy it, if you're against pop of any sort you'll probably dislike this."
-After the comma, I would put a "but" in before "if" since you are going from a type of person liking it to another type that would dislike it.

It's coming along. Just keep at it.

peaks40
October 22nd 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well teachers lol, student here did what you suggested, if you have the tolerance to keep correcting me, ill gladly accept it. @xtoxin i took your sentences cause i couldn't think of a better way to phrase it, so sorry for copyright infringement

toxin.
October 22nd 2012



11801 Comments


It's no problem if you steal my sentences. But I do have zero patience and tolerance to keep
correcting you, unless you actually take the input to try to improve. In that case, sure I'd help
you out, but I'd have to see the effort there.

"Another song that grabbed my attention is ''Holdin' on Together'', it has a nice melody, though in
a laid-back album such as this, it probably should have been put up higher in the track listing
because some listeners will feel themselves being dragged for awhile till track 8. "

Try to fix up the sentence here. I'd chop this thing into three (two if you're feeling ambitious)
cohesive, flowing sentences. There are two comma splices here (e.g., three sentences fused into one,
with each clause separated by a comma) so fix that up first.

Ecnalzen
October 22nd 2012



5846 Comments


Great stuff. Way to edit the crap out of this! I gave it a quick read again and noticed a couple of real minor things, all in the second paragraph.

-multiple listens.The single-
-tracks 4 to 8.''I'm an Actor"-
Both of these could use some spacing after the period.

'Everything is Everything' < Every other song you mention you use a double (") instead of a single ('). I would stick with one or the other for continuity.

-attention is ''Holdin' on Together'', it has-
It has always been my understanding that commas go inside quotation marks in a sentence. But I am pretty sure I've read that this is an American thing, I think it's different in the UK. So, I guess it depends on where you live.



peaks40
October 22nd 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I live in Canada, so its pretty much like the U.S., i'll continue editing this tomoro lol once and for all...hopefully

peaks40
October 23rd 2012



2720 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay so i again touched it up a little, and again feel free to point out more



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