Words by Audra Tracy

Phish’s fourteenth studio album finds Vermont’s phinest refreshed and reflective from a five -year reprieve. And listening gives you that fuzzy feeling like ‘the one who got away’ came back. With long stem roses, and Godiva chocolates, and a love sonnet. Basically, Joy is the musical equivalent of make-up sex. (What were we fighting about again?)

With Joy, the gang proves they still have creative juice that needs squeezing, and fans will find a lot of signature Phish on the record. You’ve got your multi-movement prog-rock epic (‘Time Turns Elastic’), your weird Mike Gordon song (‘Sugar Shack’), and you get to meet yet another new character (‘Ocelot’). You could even say ‘Kill Devils Falls’ is 2009’s answer to ‘Chalk-dust Torture’. Most of the songs were written by guitarist Trey Anastasio and the band’s beloved lyricist, Tom Marshall – like the title track, a slow jam from the same quivering vein as ‘Waste’.

Until this Steve Lillywhite collaboration is released on vinyl Sept 29th, I’ll just have to settle for the digital treatment. But if it sounds this good on my Mac, my record player might just spontaneously combust in a few weeks.

JEMP Records
© September 8th, 2009



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