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Phish - Junta CD (album) cover




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4.08 | 87 ratings

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5 stars Phish is an incredible band that has dipped into all sorts of genres of music. On this album, the genre is clearly prog/jazz with lots of jamming, complex time signatures, and all around virtuosic playing. Fluffhead/Fluff's Travels is probably the best song on this album. It's a 15 minute multi-movement epic mixing bluegrass, jazz, prog rock, and even a little bit of classical elements.

As impressive as the music is on this album, it never even sounds even the least bit pretentious. The lyrics, though often quite deep, are sung with a very laid back and humorous edge. The humor is often dark, similar to early Genesis, but more often than not it is light-hearted and plain old ridiculous. And, although they aren't the best singers in the world, they do sound very good when they harmonize together, and often performed as barbershop quartets in concert.

I think it's this laid-back non-prententious element of Phish's music that keeps them from being considered a prog band. It just sounded as if they didn't take anything seriously, but listening to the technical proficiency of their performance, it's clear that they did take their music very seriously.

Also, Trey Anastasio is one of the best rock guitarists ever, and should be rated up their with the other big greats including Steve Howe, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Hackett and Robert Fripp.

Although this was the first album officially released by Phish, it was actually their third recorded. Their first, simply called Phish or The White Tape, was a collection of shorter songs that would further be developed live, some of them were rereleased on later albums.

The second album, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, was a concept album about the world of Gamehenge, where lizards lived, and an adventure that took place there. The songs on this album would also be further developed live, and some reinterpreted into different songs. I highly recommend listening to live versions of the songs on this album, in particular Lizards, which is probably the most progressive they ever got (along with this album and their fourth Lawn Boy).

Phish became gradually less progressive on their albums as the years went on, but they seemed to improve live throughout the 90's. Definitely hear them live, they are much better.

Gianthogweed | 5/5 |


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