Phoenix Alphabetical

Though most people would know Phoenix for the appearance of their song "Too Young” in Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation, this French band released one of 2000’s most interesting records. United was a genre-bending buffet of delectable pop, disco house and retro fervour that produced two amazing singles for the dance floor — the aforementioned "Too Young” and the even tastier, "If I Ever Feel Better.” Back after a four-year absence, Phoenix has progressed without needing to take the risks they attempted before. It’s safe to say Alphabetical isn’t as adventurous as its predecessor, but with the talent this band has, their songwriting abilities have created something simpler and more accessible. The first two singles, "Everything Is Everything” and "Run Run Run,” almost play as rivals, as both ignite with beats fit for Timberlake in the guise of sweet, retro, indie pop. "Victim Of The Crime” is a harmless slice of easy listening that nicks Dr. Dre’s "Still Dre” riff with complete purity. Even on "If It’s Not With You,” when they tinker with a synth only Yanni would consider usable, they manage to pull it off, taking control and moulding it into some freakishly delicious Hall & Oates tune. Alphabetical has raised the stakes and set the bar high for innovative pop music. If Phoenix have any peers, they have yet to show their faces. (Virgin)