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Phish - A Picture Of Nectar CD (album) cover




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3.74 | 58 ratings

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4 stars When it comes to bands that are into eternal jam sessions, Phish is the absolute best. It is amazing how they seem to be on the same "wavelength" when they are playing together in a live show and how well they know each other enough to carry each other through such diverse and long jamming sessions. The question always seems to arise, however, as to whether they are really a progressive band or not. Let me put it this way...sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. But that's okay. These guys are great at both, so they can get away with it. I can't say that they have ever done anything innovative in progressive rock, but they know the tricks of the trade and they do it well. Jamming is definately legal in progressive rock and is also welcome. Even though I do love my share of jam bands, I've always been more attracted to the complex structure of I guess I'm more into tight structure than loose jamming. For this reason, I have no problems with Phish's studio albums up through "The Story of the Ghost", so I am not the typical "Phish-head" because most die-hard Phish phans love them for their free form but I love them for the structure of their music. That being said, I absolutely love this's probably my favorite by them immediately followed by "Rift" and "The Story of the Ghost".

This album has everything and I love the variety here. Here is what you get with this album. "Llama" is just a fast, wacked-out song that demonstrates Phish's quirkiness. "Poor Heart" is a hilarious send up of country music. "Stash" is the prog-lovers dream. "Magilla" and "Land Lady" are both great jazz-rock instrumentals and I love the way they are "stuck" together on the album. "Tweezer" is a great sampler of what these guys can do with improvisation when they have a great riff to play off of. "The Mango Song" is at silly as it sounds but very enjoyable. "Chalk Dust Torture" is a little heavier and probably one of my all time favorite Phish songs. This is one that always sounds good live whatever they do with it. The album closes off with three short songs...the instrumentat and very funny "Faht" with all kinds of nature and acoustic sounds which if you listening too closely might end up making you jump out of your seat, the strange and short "Catapult" and then the reprise of "Tweezer" which I think is the perfect closer because of how it brings back the spirit of the album after the two "mostly" quiet previous tracks.

Overall, a great album that does better listened to as a whole and not in parts. This is another reason why I like this one more than their previous album "Junta" (which most Phish-heads would consider their favorite) because the tracks all sound better when they are listened to together. I really think this is what Phish was trying to accomplish when making an album, a way to tie all the songs together to make a "full-album" type listening experience, where in a live show, they try to give each song it's own individuality. They accomplish this very well on this album and also on "Story of a Ghost".

TCat | 4/5 |


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