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Phish - Junta CD (album) cover




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4.08 | 87 ratings

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3 stars To start, I am not a phan (and that will be the last substitution of "ph" for "f" in this review). I bought this review solely based on ProgArchives reviews. This leads me to a number of conclusions: this is not an entirely progressive rock album (though there are many great progressive rock songs), there are no deeper meanings to the lyrics ("the tires are the things on your car that make contact with the road" cannot be interpreted at a deeper level), and Trey Anastasio is not one of the greatest guitarists (he is very pleasant, I will admit). Junta has a number of great moments and an equal number of mediocre moments. I leave it to you to choose which you want to emphasize.

You Enjoy Myself, The Divided Sky, David Bowie, Fluffhead, Fluff's Travels. These are the prog moments. This is also some of the happiest music you will ever hear (especially You Enjoy Myself and The Divided Sky). Put these tunes on at work and you will definitely feel less hatred for whatever you are doing. Though pleasant, these are not simple pieces: plenty of time changes and extremely tight playing from Phish dominates these tracks. There's no doubt, these guys have talent, and are a very tight group when they decide to be. The keys and guitar are especially on the same page--most noticeably on The Divided Sky. They can also construct a complex build, as David Bowie clearly shows. They also have a pure Yes-like positivity that is most notable on Fluffhead.

Fee, Esther, Golgi Apparatus, Foam, Dinner and a Movie, Contact. These are the non-prog pieces. There are some decent instrumental breaks to look forward to (Esther and Golgi Apparatus especially), but overall these, in my opinion, are ininspired and lackluster at best, and silly and irritating at worst.

Plenty of great and mediocre material. If I could produce it, I know exactly what I would do, and it would involve keeping the prog and releasing only one disc instead of two. If you like inane, easy listening jazz/rock, you will enjoy this album. If you like great prog melodies and instrumentation, you will enjoy parts of this album. If you enjoy deep, intense prog, you will regret buying this album. Just know ahead of time what you are getting into, and you'll be fine.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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