Thursday, September 17, 2009
Album Review: Phish - Joy
I've had about a month to digest this one.
Upon first listen I found it hard to get into and not want to just put on Picture of Nectar. But that's expected.
Now returning again after repeated listens, followed by a solid week or so off from Phish, I am immediately drawn in on the lead track 'Backwards Down The Number Line'. Some great guitar and keys work on this one and it keeps up right on through 'Stealing Time From Faulty Plan' which includes my favorite guitar solo of the album (2:15 - 3:35 Trey kills it). It is always an interesting thing listening to albums by bands already established and beloved. Your brain is torn between wanting the familiar and something new and it can't really have both. There is really no way to please. I had heard enough bashing of Time Turns Elastic all summer during Phish's tour and was nervous as hell when I first scored the new album. Nervous about what? nervous about being let down, nervous that I'd turn it on and they would piss in my ears. As I cautiously gave a first listen I was rescued from my discomfort by 'Ocelot.' Arguably the best track on the album, I had grown to love this jam at the Phish show I saw in August. More than catchy lyrics, the rhythm of this song is Phish. Immediately it puts you in a groove. They didn't even play this song at Alpine and it brings back memories of walking up over the hill there and reaching the steep view down on stage with thousands of people getting their noodle on. It's just one of those songs I could listen to over and over. 'Kill Devil Falls' is a great follow up and it is at this point that the album really peaks. The album of course isn't all pleasing. Can't say I care for 'Twenty Years Later' or 'Light' but overall I respect the album and who knows in time these songs could be favorites of mine. Hard to not be biased since Phish is basically the band that really took my love for music beyond Ugly Kid Joe (thank god) but I really think the album will appeal to Phans old and new.
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