Posted by: Staff | 10.18.2009

A New Breed of Phish

AVA DUDANI ’12

If I had to choose an alternative rock band that possesses some of the best musical talent of our generation, it would probably be Phish. After four years, they are back with a reunion album, Joy, which will forever change your perception of what this band is capable of. This is Phish’s eleventh studio album and by far their best. This album is a pleasant surprise for Phish fans, whose prominent belief is that the band sounds much better live than on record. Senior, and music aficionado, Becca Felcon remarks that, “This is their best album, it’s way better than Hoist.” You have to give credit to the producer, Steve Lilywhite (producer of past Phish album Billy Breaths), for doing a beautiful job accurately capturing Phish’s distinct sound.

Their style is energetic, feel-good, bluesy-rock with extraordinary piano and guitar solos. Their lyrics are simplistic and yet at times extremely powerful. The standout tracks are most defiantly “Time turns Elastic” and “Joy.” The two songs are extremely unique in their own right. One being a softer ballad dedicated to the bands beloved fans, and one being an experimental progressive-rock jam that even after 13 minutes, never gets old or un-interesting (as a side note, that song took 278 takes to finish!).

They say that the best artwork comes out of great pain and suffering. Yeah, maybe it’s a bit of a cliché, but in lead singer and guitarist Trey Anastasio’s case, the overused proverb holds some amount of truth. Anastasio recently came out of a harsh drug addiction, which is referenced at numerous points throughout the album. “Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan” is a clear tribute to Anastasio’s hardships. The repeated phrase, “got a blank space where my mind should be” gives the listener a small sample of the agony Anastasio endured during the height of his addiction.

Even after all of this, Phish was able to make it through and create something truly wonderful. “Laughing all these many years, we’ve pushed through hardships, tasted tears” from the opening track “Backwards Down the number line” says in the simplest of terms what this album represents: a coming together after a period of misfortune and difficulty. I applaud Phish for not only finding happiness in their own lives but sharing it with the rest of the world. Overall, it’s nice to see the band reunited and filled with joy (pun intended).

 

Key tracks: Backward Down the Number Line, Time Turns Electric, Stealing time from the Faulty Plan, and Joy

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Responses

  1. YES!


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