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Phish - Rift CD (album) cover




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4.04 | 58 ratings

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5 stars Ah, the early 90s. What a great time for weird music that was somehow 'commercial.' This was my introduction to Phish, and it led me to become a rabid fan...until they started making really horrid albums (Farmhouse, for example). As a diehard Rush fan, this was initially a challenging listen, since it was counter to almost everything I knew about so-called 'progressive' music. However, once I learned to listen with uncorrupted ears, I uncovered the brilliance of this band. As I learned later, their previous albums had already hinted at their musical muscle (You Enjoy Myself, etc.), but on Rift, a new maturity took over and made these bizarre little nuggets more cohesive.

From the opening moments of the title track, all the way through to the end, what I heard were quirky pop tunes set on their ear, with each musician using a very unique (to me at the time) approach to their respective instruments. In particular was Jon Fishman's drumming, which was in my mind the impetus for this madness. I had never heard such a great groove performed on cowbell and woodblock! Later on, his intro to Mound completely slayed me with his messing with the traditional blues beat. Even better still is how the whole band transitions from the intro to the body of the song. Another cool moment on an album full of them.

Unlike any other Phish album, I cannot find any track that I dislike, not even Lenghwise, since it's too short to be annoying. This was Phish's perfect storm of lightning in a bottle (and any other cliches you can think up). The only problem with perfection is it is very difficult to repeat. Unfortunately for Phish, every subsequent release has slid further and further from this high (pun intended).

pearty | 5/5 |


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