Power-Pop with a Twist of France

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/5449242/5449297" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Long Distance Call"
  • Artist: Phoenix
  • CD: It's Never Been Like That
  • Genre: Pop

Those looking for the definition of ear candy need look no further than the French band Phoenix's third album. It's Never Been Like That gets its title from a line in "Long Distance Call," a lovable power-pop nugget informed by early-'80s pop grooves, the insouciance of the '70s rock band Pablo Cruise and a flood of Hall & Oates sing-alongs.

The French band Phoenix draws on an eclectic mix of '70s and '80s influences.

The French band Phoenix draws on an eclectic mix of '70s and '80s influences. hide caption

itoggle caption

Phoenix draws mostly on an eclectic mix of 20- and 30-year-old influences. Since its debut six years ago, the band has been quietly admired for its effortless yet crafty ability to put a French twist on traditional pop songwriting while blending in elements of electronica. On its new album, the band drops much of its easygoing post-disco synth sound for one rooted in jangly, chiming guitar-pop.

Winsome and catchy, fueled by indelible hooks and the icy but agreeable persona of singer Thomas Mars, "Long Distance Call" will remain lodged in listeners' heads long after its three minutes are over — maybe even all summer long.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Purchase Featured Music

It's Never Been Like That

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

It's Never Been Like That

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.