Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Undermind Phish Label: Elektra / WEA Release Date: 6/15/2004 1 Scents and Subtle Sounds (Intro) - 1:37 2 Undermind - 4:57 3 The Connection - 2:25 4 A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing - 6:23 5 Army of One - 5:01 ... more »
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Undermind Phish Label: Elektra / WEA Release Date: 6/15/2004 1 Scents and Subtle Sounds (Intro) - 1:37 2 Undermind - 4:57 3 The Connection - 2:25 4 A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing - 6:23 5 Army of One - 5:01 6 Crowd Control - 3:34 7 Maggie's Revenge - 1:43 8 Nothing - 4:08 9 Two Versions of Me - 3:45 10 Access Me - 2:38 11 Scents and Subtle Sounds - 5:05 12 Tomorrow's Song - 1:56 13 Secret Smile - 6:41 14 Grind - :59
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The most horrible piece of drivel these guys ever produced
Craig Brodhead | Boston MA | 08/06/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I will preface this by noting that I am a long time fan and defender of Phish as a viable musical entity, lest you think that this is coming with someone of a limited knowledge of the band that simply doesn't "get it." I will tout their strengths to all and acknowledge them as a seminal band in recent musical history.
That being said, this music is utterly worthless. The material, that is to say songs, are fundamentally poor in construction and content. Both musically and lyrically nearly all the songs illustrate just how hollow and bereft of inspiration the band had become by this time. Indeed, this album is almost entirely constructed of the undesirable aspects of the group which were tolerated and even embraced when delivered with the charm and spirit they were once so famous for.
Now another main issue with this album is their choice of Tchad Blake as producer. This is not to speak ill of the man as he is one of the best and most original producers in recent years; in fact he is one of my favorite producers of all time. The problem is simply that his aesthetic doesn't gel very well with Phish since he tends to favor a rough and ballsy sort of sound with a lot of distorted drums and heavily compressed instruments. This doesn't seem to suit Phish very well; they aren't very "street" and wouldn't exactly be considered "artsy" or "hip". They are not favored very well by much of Blake's Lo-fi tendencies. More importantly, Phish is notorious for ignoring the tastes and suggestions of their producers, basically relegating them to engineers. Tchad is an adept master at getting astoundingly rich guitar tones, but this album is littered with some of the most horrid sharp and brittle guitar sounds that have ever made it to a record. The conclusion: Mr. Anastasio was simply too stubborn to submit to suggestion.
As for the songs, the first track (Scents and Subtle Sounds) is a good barometer for what the rest of the album contains. Opening with a strange ensemble of electronic click-clacks, hokey synth-organs and sample generated strings. Over this awful mess a whole host of sophomoric lyrics are delivered telling the listener be more present to the subtleties of one's perception. Where Phish was once lovable and even occasionally profound with their druggy brand of abstract silly vermbal symbolism, now the Anastasio/Marshall songwriting team has wholly worn out their welcome in an attempt to grow up. The result is something similar to the insipid poetry a stoned college student might write after taking his first philosophy class. Perhaps worst of all is embarrassing vocal display and grossly unmusical melody, clashing with harmony and odd instrumentation in the opening lines.
The stress of this album is placed on short, concise songs that could be roughly considered 'pop'. Unfortunately, the group simply does not have the craft in this discipline to create something of actual value. The result is one cringe inducing lyric after another and then exacerbated by the banality of the instrumental accompaniment. Gone are the compositional excursions, the playfulness and youthful whimsy, the fluid and earthy grooves and the woody and strong guitars. In its place is just a mess of chaotic junkie jams and three minute testaments to mediocrity.
There are however some bright moments perhaps could have saved the album were the rest of it not as atrocious as it is. The reggae-informed blues of the title track with its solid yet sparse groove, well orchestrated growling organ fills and pleasant layering of guitar parts. Tchad seems to have had more free reign here and brings the song to life. Also the lyrics are vintage Marshall; ambiguous and nonsensical yet meditative - wordplay in which to frame the musical material. Other highlights are "Access Me", a Mike Gordon composition that while idiotic in lyrical material is quite a bit of fun and appropriate and consistent to his sense of humor. The short mini-song "Tomorrow's Song" is a little reggae influenced chant that is a pleasant interjection coming towards the latter end of the album. Also "Secret Smile" the orchestral excursion coming afterwards is actually quite pretty even if it is lachrymose, schmaltzy and marred by an incompetent guitar solo by Anastasio. And of course, the last track "Grind", another little ditty the band has been kicking around for years bring back memories of their tradition of singing a capella barbershop quartet songs back in the early 90's. Being their (probably) last album, the short silly last song calls to mind "Her Majesty" from Abbey Road as an obvious inspiration.
Even songs like "Nothing" and "the connection" were pleasant enough to listen to but the combination of mundane lyrics with wholly uninteresting arrangements and unsuitable production combine to make something almost completely useless.
One of Phish's best studio CD's.
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 05/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"VERY ATMOSPHERIC, AND COHESIVE ALBUM.
You can get this with or without a bonus DVD. Save yourself a buck and get it without the bonus DVD. It is a 26 minute "making of" film. It offers no insights and is basically worthless.
This is probably Phish's last recording (but who knows). The CD is 51 minutes long and sound quality is good but muted.
I like this CD and other Phish CD's like Lawn Boy, where the music is cohesive and there is not a lot of silly, short junk thrown in. I am not a big fan of A Picture Of Nectar, or Farmhouse which jump all over the place and contain a bunch of worthless tracks.
This in not a jam CD or a CD of a bunch of long tracks, like Lawn Boy. But it is a very cohesive and interesting CD throughout.
The music here is a little more muted and atmospheric for Phish. It is more layered and intricate. And the song writing is very good. The kind of has a retro sound, almost like seventies progressive.
I almost gave it five stars, but it hits a slow patch in the middle with Nothing, Two Versions of Me and Access Me."
Excellent, intelligent music
E. Minkovitch | Montreal, Quebec | 02/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that this album got an unfair beating from some of the reviewers. I don't know what folks expected, I mean the band has tons of super-progressive live jam stuff available, so that ground is well covered. On this album, they just wanted to write well-crafted, intelligent songs, and they have done just that. The lyrics are wonderful as well, whoever wrote them is a poet. The music is not so adventurous as on other albums, but it's pure Phish, and one can tell this is done by people who know how to write and develop a song. Great album."