Phoenix's new album, It's Never Been Like That, is erroneous. In actuality, it has “been like that.” The French group has been making music since the '90s and finally found an album formula that works – not changing a thing in its music style, making its album title a bit misconceiving, yet marketing genius and darn good.

In sticking with the sound in which they are known, the band is not reinventing the wheel on this album. Fans may flock to buy the CD expecting a new, edgier tone. What they'll find is the quartet's typical style that's hard to describe without writing a review of long list of adjectives.

However, jazz – influenced, progressive pop rock comes to mind at first listen. Their playful guitar teeters on the edge of softness, yet the music tempo and instrument transitions are genius enough to create a sound that will be copied by many new, and established, artists today.

Although the disc was more mellow than expected, the band built a refreshing sound on what it knows how do best. It's Never Been Like That will easily top many lists for 200 6 .

Grade: A