Originally recorded in 1989, Phish's second record is a brilliant blend of whimsy and wisdom that served notice to the world: these boys are tough to peg. "The Squirming Coil" is arena-rock bluster, "Reba" is winding art r... more »ock, "My Sweet One" is quick bluegrass, "Split Open and Melt" is a funky workout, "Oh Kee Pa Ceremony" is jazzed-up country boogie, "Lawn Boy" is lounge jazz, and "Bouncing Around the Room" is irresistible pop. Add to that "Run Like an Antelope," one of their most successful twisting-and-turning instrumental jams, and you have an eclectic yet digestible smorgasbord of styles. What saves Phish from crumbling under their own weight? A palpable sense of playfulness and sarcasm and musicianship that is both loose and demanding. --Marc Greilsamer« less
Originally recorded in 1989, Phish's second record is a brilliant blend of whimsy and wisdom that served notice to the world: these boys are tough to peg. "The Squirming Coil" is arena-rock bluster, "Reba" is winding art rock, "My Sweet One" is quick bluegrass, "Split Open and Melt" is a funky workout, "Oh Kee Pa Ceremony" is jazzed-up country boogie, "Lawn Boy" is lounge jazz, and "Bouncing Around the Room" is irresistible pop. Add to that "Run Like an Antelope," one of their most successful twisting-and-turning instrumental jams, and you have an eclectic yet digestible smorgasbord of styles. What saves Phish from crumbling under their own weight? A palpable sense of playfulness and sarcasm and musicianship that is both loose and demanding. --Marc Greilsamer
Bobby K. (roulduke) from NEPTUNE BEACH, FL Reviewed on 9/20/2018...
This CD also has a 10th song named "Fee."
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
M. Scagnelli | Brandon, Florida | 02/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lawn Boy is now a classic Phish album. It is one of their greatest studio and songwriting achievements and is also a favorite among the legions of dedicated Phish fans. So why this album and not one of their other great albums? The reason is, I think, because it has the best of both sides of Phish. Phish are often considered a jam band with long, spaced-out jams. This album certainly has that with part of Reba and Run Like an Antelope. Phish can also write great rock songs that have great riffs and very memorable. This album has that as well. Songs like Lawn Boy and Bouncing Around The Room are perfect examples. Basically, this album appeals to fans of both sides of Phish and it can also appeal to any new fans, therefore it is a good starting place when getting into Phish. Although some of these songs have more impreesive performances on their official live albums, this album stands up excellently. All the songs are really great and are now classic Phish songs, especially The Squirming Coil, Lawn Boy, Reba, Split Open And Melt and Bouncing Around The Room. Lawn Boy proves, perhaps more than any other Phish album, that Phish is an incredible band, both live and in the studio."
This album takes too much flack from being too goofy.
C.S. Lanham | Columbus, Indiana USA | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album. It's a wonderful collection of skewed pop and trippy style music. All the songs sound different. Alot of albums released by acts now have alot of songs that sound alike. on this album, everything has it's own little sound. It's nice to hear a band who can still do that. The album starts out with just Trey Anastasio's voice and Page McConnel's piano in the background in "The Squrming Coil". This sets a bright mood for the rest of the album. It's as almost Phish were saying that the album is a "squrming coil of sunset". Very bright and chipper with a great little jam thrown in for good measure. "Reba" is one of my more favroite songs. It is very catchy. Anastasio quick singing on this song is what first grabs you. Then the jam keeps you totally entranced. Just when you think it's over, a faint whistle in the tune of the song fades in and it gets louder and louder until it jumps right back into the song one more time. I had to listen to "My Sweet One" twice before I really got it. It's really just a joke song in all honesty. It is sung almost totally accapella. The only instrument that is constantally playing is Jon's drums. A witty little break from your regurlarly scheduled album.I love the deep slightly skewed vocals on "Split Open and Melt". There is a middle section here that kind of sounds like an old drinking song. It ends with a woman's voice just repeating the tilte of the song over and over. The "Oh Kee Pa Ceramony" is as wierd as it's name. No lyrics. Just a short little "country-jazz" kind of jam. It sounds like a ceramony, though in the sense that you can hear glasses clinking and people laughing and chatting in the background. It has some great guitar work on it that proves that Anastasio is an extremly talented musican that is well adversed in many styles. One of my favroite Phish songs is "Bathtub Gin". The song is very rolly-polly. It kind of sounds as if the actual notes in the song are intoxacated. Kinda like those old cartoons where all the notes in a song come off the paper and get drunk. There is a sound of liquid being poured in the background, and when the music stops for a quick second you hear the liqued being poured and that's it. Then, the music explodes back in again, almost drowning out the liquid noise. One of the best Phish jams, "Run Like an Antelope" needs to be heard. It can not be explained in words. It's simply one hundred percent musicanship. I laugh in the face of any one person who says that the members of Phish are bad musicans. Then I ask if they've ever heard "Run Like an Antelope". When they say no, then I just walk away knowing that they don't know Phish well enough to call them anything. "Lawn Boy" has a very slow jazz/swing feel to it. It's very short, and I think that does it well. A jam would just not be right for this time in the album. This song almost sounds like a prologue for "Bouncing Around the Room".I must say that I like the live version of "Bouncing Around the Room" much better. Nevertheless, this is still a great end to the album. With all the members of Phish vocalizing as the album fades away. Overall, the album leaves you with a brighter feeling than some other Phish albums do sometimes. It really shows off the band's great sense of humor and combines that humor with diverse musical styles and great musicanship."
One of Phish's best
C.S. Lanham | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this cd early in my days of Phish. I am a dedicated musician and know what I'm talking about. Get this cd! Once you think you've figured out something about this album and its' meaning, you realize that you still have a long way to go. If this means anything to anyone, I have had a few significant musical experiences listening to this cd. In the solo at the end of Reba (which is possible Trey's best ever), if you are truly into the song and the emotions it provokes, you can almost feel what Trey is thinking just by listening to his guitar. Extremely powerful. But this cd is like a huge ocean. It takes a while to catch its sound because it's so complex, so don't force it upon yourself, but give it time to grow. This cd has changed the way I look at some things, and it will forever remain one of my favorites!"
The Very Best Of Phish
Troy | PA | 11/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a true "Phan" of the band, I can say that "Lawn Boy" is favorite Phish album...by far. I know that a majority of Phish Heads share my theory, but that's because it is so true. "Lawn Boy" is just the ultimate Phish album...and can also be noted for being the ultimate jam band album, in my book.The album starts us off with the mellow, melodic keyboards of "The Squirming Coil", then goes into the jam anthem, "Reba" (a concert favorite), which is up there on my top 10 Phish song list. The third track, "My Sweet One", gives us a break from the long, jammed out "Reba", and delivers a fresh, hill billy-ish, and short tune (written by drummer, John Fishman). Next is the horn filled "Split Open & Melt", which might be about sex, but who knows with Trey's lyrical tastes? Next "Lawn Boy" tune, is the "Oh Kee Pa Ceremony". Don't ask me what the title means, I have not a clue, but what I do know is that it fits right in with the album setlist. It gives us a little jist of what a mini-Phish jam sounds like. Next up on the album setlist is my personal favorite off of the album..."Bathtub Gin". This is my favorite track off of the album, based upon it's interesting background sound effects (bubblers), and drunken sounding vocals from Mr. Goodman. "Bathtub Gin" is the only tune on the album whom Goodman wrote the lyrics for, the rest are all Trey/Tom, or just Trey. "Run Like An Antelope" arrives next. It is also a concert favorite, and contains little lyrics, but very meaningful ones as well...."Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul, you've got to run like an antelope out of control." ~The Dude Of Life. The other lyrical line in the song is "Lie, lie, lie. Marco Esquandolez." Interesting to say the least, yet so freakin' awesome! After the "Antelope" are done stampeeding, enters the title track..."Lawn Boy". The lyrics in "Lawn Boy" are my favorite off the album. "The moist green organic that my feet tread upon." Delightful! The conclusion lies in "Bouncing Around The Room", a mellow ending to the albums energy filled jamming. In conclusion, "Lawn Boy" is the perfect album for jam band fans, and Phish fans. It is blended so well. It has energetic points, and then mellowed out points, but overall, the whole album is a fantastic lyrical/musical geniosity. Go out and buy it and enjoy the wonderful sounds of the Phish men."
Gentle Giant meets Frank Zappa and the Grateful Dead
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 12/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1990, this was Phish's first "official" release. It was their first CD and their first on a major label. Their real first album was Junta, but it was only sold on cassettes at concerts at the time (it later got an expanded CD release). Lawn Boy is about 46 minutes long and the sound quality is very good.
It sounds a lot like what it is. The first major release by an up and coming band. It is a little looser than later releases, and the bands sound isn't quite set yet.
This CD features much more piano than later CD's will. It gives the whole album somewhat of a British Progressive Rock texture. Many of the openings to the songs sound like they could be from Gentle Giant.
There appears to be other influences mixed into the sound. Some of the guitar playing is reminiscent of Frank Zappa. And being a jam band, the seem to mix some Jerry Garica guitar style here and there.
This is a nice collection of songs, with a few exceptions. Phish was still playing most of these songs in concert up until they time they disbanded. You can't say that about most of Phish's albums, where only a few songs would make it to their concert play lists.
But, most of the songs do have the same problems that most of Phish's work, silly, or ridiculous lyrics. The lyrics sometimes are just something that the group can later jam off of.
There are some problems with the production values on some of the songs, especially with the vocals. It is gets really bad when the band tries to harmonize. Some songs are a little disjointed. On Reba, which is 12 minutes long, the first 4 minutes are just a waste, with bad vocals, disjointed music and some of the worst Phish lyrics of all time.
But, get rid of the first 4 minutes of Reba, and lose the two short tracks, My Sweet One and Oh Kee Pa Ceremony, and you have a pretty good CD with almost 40 minutes of nice music and singing.
The song Lawn Boy is a nice little bluesy number. I wonder why Phish couldn't have done more like this."