This 1992 effort, Phish's third overall and first for Elektra, represents the peak of their early-period studio records. The full scope of the quartet's artistic vision comes through clearly across a selection of their mos... more »t enduring songs. They reveal a voracious and sweeping appetite for a large assortment of styles: psychedelic roots rock; heavy, fusion-leaning progressive rock; bluegrass; straight jazz; and even salsa all creep in. The constant and frantic battle between wild imagination, oddball humor, and keen musical chops is mighty compelling, and even their most grandiose, over-the-top, jet-fueled jams are delivered with a disarming wink. --Marc Greilsamer« less
This 1992 effort, Phish's third overall and first for Elektra, represents the peak of their early-period studio records. The full scope of the quartet's artistic vision comes through clearly across a selection of their most enduring songs. They reveal a voracious and sweeping appetite for a large assortment of styles: psychedelic roots rock; heavy, fusion-leaning progressive rock; bluegrass; straight jazz; and even salsa all creep in. The constant and frantic battle between wild imagination, oddball humor, and keen musical chops is mighty compelling, and even their most grandiose, over-the-top, jet-fueled jams are delivered with a disarming wink. --Marc Greilsamer
"This is Phish at their best. This is the album that made me a fan. And when I saw them live for the first time, they came out and opened with an instrumental, The Landlady, off Picture O' Nectar, and it was great. They came out and just played, no cutesy-ness, no geeky, absurd, pseudo-momentous lyrics. I always wondered why they couldn't do that more often. When they appeared on the David Letterman show or Saturday Night Live, why not just come out and do a tight instrumental? I think I know why. Because they have to be cool and pick songs that show off that they don't care what the larger public thinks, "we're just playing what we like for ourselves, man." But they should show a little more respect for their fans, some of who, like myself, have attempted to turn other people on to the scene only to be embarrassed by their lame recitals when on the national stage.
Anyway, that first paragraph sounds awfully resentful, I'm off to a bitter start but I'm really trying to say that this is a great album. Of all their studio albums, Picture of Nectar has the highest ratio of cool songs to filler. Songs such as Llama, Cavern, Stash, Landlady, Guelah Papyrus, Chalk Dust Torture, and maybe Tweezer all rank as some of the best studio Phish. As a band, they don't quite live up to the hype and expectations of the hard-core fans. But as musicians, when they had time to write and create together, when they were focused on jamming and musicality over the bombastic flamboyance of their live shows, they were often great. One can make a case for Lawn Boy, which comes in a close second for me, but overall I would say this is the one album to own if you want to appreciate Phish for their songwriting and musicianship. "
Phish's Best Studio Effort?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, Ignore any reviews that have rated this CD less than a 4. Any true phish fan will tell you that this album is a must have. If you are new to Phish, this is a perfect collection of some of the greatest Phish songs ever written with which to start you off.BUY THIS CD!!!!!!I can't put it down. From the excellant opening track, Llama, to Tweezer Reprise, this CD is over an hour of start-to-finish splendor. My personal favorites are "Guelah Papyrus" and "Tweezer," but every song on this album is marvelous.This CD stands out as a little different from the "classic" phish sound most people have come to know. The sound is distinctly a combination of funk, rock, salsa, and jazz, among other things. But phish pulls it off brilliantly, and I can't imagine my music collection without it.Again, I implore you, BUY THE CD.
You won't regret it, I promise."
The Most You Can Get Without a Ticket Stub
Payam | Los Angeles, California | 06/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Among the snow banks of Birmingham, Vermont, the kings of improvisational jazz, rock, fusion, and bluegrass hide and hum along to their masterful song, "Stash", which is known to a select group of fans that have been lucky enough to discover this incredible sound. This sound is the music from Phish- the song, "Stash", off of their 1992 release, A Picture of Nectar. Although it is often said that the true essence of Phish, an improvisational 4 piece band, cannot be heard on any of their studio albums, this record's quality proves otherwise. To begin with, the incredible musicians of this group work together to integrate a plethora of styles into one album. "Llama", the first track off the album, starts the pace with a high tempo fusion arrangement where guitarist, Trey Anastasio, and keyboardist, Page McConnell trade brilliant solos. The next transition of music comes with "Poor Heart", a blue grass tune with outstanding slide guitar work and catchy vocals melodies. With "Stash", Anastasio sets what I would call the standard "Stairway" for fusion; the song is full of beautiful guitar riffs that are backed by a Latin samba rhythm. "The Landlady" captures an instrumental taste of salsa, where there is more grasping guitar work by Anastasio, the virtuoso. To top the album off, "Magilla", the creation of Page, completes the experimentation with a jumpy jazz number. A Picture of Nectar is filled with awe inspiring instrumentation that is spiced with irrelevant, meaningless, and hilarious lyrics that capture the essence of Phish. This band continues to stun audiences, traveling with one of the largest followings of any modern band-all of this done with hardly any radio or television support. For any music fan that enjoys and appreciates pure edge talent and creativity, A Picture of Nectar is an essential that will find its way into anybody's record collection and get the love it deserves."
Payam | 03/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been listening to Phish seriously for about two years now, but have known about their jammin' style of music since about the summer of '95. Phish have some great live recordings, but if you want the best in studio tracks, buy Picture of Nectar. This album is loaded with the ultimate in Phish songs. Buy this cd, if you're a newbie, or if you need another Phish cd to add to your collection. You can jam any time to this cd. No need to skip around on this cd, Phish is one of the few bands, where you can just let it play."
Maybe not their best CD but a definite must have of Phish.
A bug | USA | 06/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has many different types of Phish songs. The long jammed out songs, the short songs, the weird tiny songs that sound like a joke and the medium songs that aren't long on the CD but in concert might go on forever. This CD is a good CD to buy as a second Phish CD. It has a variety of very good classic Phish songs. This CD is good for the all-around Phish fan although I would not recommend it as a first Phish CD. The only reason to say this is because like most Phish CDs they take awhile listen to before you really decided their great CDs. This quality of this CD could turn you off Phish forever because you think it is too weird. This CD has a song for a Phish fan. There's the catchy "cavern", the ever popular "stash", the funky "mango song", the jazzy "magilla", the bluegrass/folk "poor heart", and the rocking "chalkdust torture." This is a really great Phish CD and definite must have I highly recommend it."