The more I listen to this album, the more I love it. The more I want to smoke tons of pot and dance around reeeeeeeally slowly. Phish’s FOURTEENTH album, Joy, will bring the same to hippies everywhere.
Somehow, for a long time, I missed the Phish boat. After Jerry died, all the deadheads I knew either went to Phish or Dave Matthews, and I was one of the latter. Phish has really become the all-American jam band and this album really shouts it loud and proud.
All the time you hear, …”blah, blah, blah, it doesn’t matter what their albums sound like because of their live show…blah, blah, blah…” But of course it fucking matters. These are the same songs they’re doing live, and what else are you going to listen to for the other 364 days a year or more that Phish isn’t in your town? Oh, that’s right…albums. Duh.
This album is lightweight and full of breezy jams. This album oozes classic 70’s album rock, with downright peppy vocals. It starts of strong with the infectiously catchy “Backwards Down the Number Line” then delves into “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan”, a bluesy, introspective look on Trey Anastasio, the recently recovering drug addict. Then we have “Sugar Shack”. Sadly to say, it’s a little forgettable, however, Mike Gordon’s vocals remind me of They Might Be Giants and that kind of excites me. TMBG with less geek, I suppose. Then, there’s fucking “Ocelot”. I. Fucking. Love. “Ocelot”. Maybe just because it’s about ocelots, but it makes me want to lay in a grassy field in the sun. It makes me want skirts and corduroy. Goddamn, it makes my soft, hippie center want to come out and play.
The gem of this album is really all thirteen minutes of “Time Turns Elastic”, an epic, multi-faceted composition that’s going to kick some major ass live with some patented Phish guitar jams. I can easily see this becoming a very, very long song live, but it’ll be lots of fun.
Joy is really well produced for Phish, and it’s nice to see the complexity of their music in an actual album. It’s certainly something to pacify you while you wait for Phish to come to your town. Or, you know, you can just eat a cut of mushrooms and look at the cover. Your choice. B
On that hippie vibe…SAVE THE WHALE! Please remember to call for Lolita THIS SATURDAY! I thank you and Lolita thanks you!