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Phish - A Picture Of Nectar CD (album) cover




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3.73 | 59 ratings

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5 stars Phish's third effort was not far off the line of it's two predecessors, especially in the line of 'progressiveness'. Sure, Junta was a great debut album that was full of prog rock, but Lawn Boy and A Picture of Nectar didn't fall short from the line at all. I've actually had more of a history with this album than any other album by the band, even though that might not be saying much because I only have two of their releases (this and Farmhouse, a pretty mediocre album). That aside, let me tell you my experience with this album:

I was still new to my renewed prog rock discovery stage (I had already listened and known much before but had recently rediscovered it's perfect sound) at least three years ago, but even before that, I had Phish. Of course they weren't technically 'prog' because of their heavy mix of jazz fusion and dare I say it, alternative rock. There's almost a coffeehouse blend of Phish's music, with a very jam-oriented style of music, meaning that integrity is important and used, however it is justly used in small amounts. This leads to more creative paths that usually create unique toe-tapping art-worthy tracks, very much shown on this release. Anyway, Phish was very important to my re-introduction to prog rock and it was an incredible experience. It's one of those few albums that when I have it and listen to it in large amounts, I don't need any other releases from the artist. When a band does that, they've earned an A in my book.

The first large highlight is the odd, jazzy 'Cavern', with one of my favorite percussion-led openings of all time. The song always retains a certain quality and beat, and is able to maintain structural integrity even without large changes. The vocals are good, but what is really odd are the lyrics, which are the usual cute, lighthearted, and inane composition that Phish uses so much in their music. Definitely an enjoyable track. The most 'progressive' songs on the album are undoubtedly 'Stash' and 'Tweezer', both are epics who's times are used wisely for excellent bass and guitar lines, and the latter even got a reprise for a finisher at the end of the album which was equally as good. 'Glide' is a weird song, with keyboard slides and heavy amounts of cowbell. I've always found myself liking it, even though it's strange lyrics that center around the play on words of 'we're glide that you're alive' are highly eccentric. 'The Mango Song' is the most lighthearted of the songs, and what would you expect? It's about Mangoes for god's sake! It features some cool a Capella as well as more finger-snapping jazz. My final real highlight is 'Chalkdust Torture', a quick, blues-y number that is undoubtedly the heaviest on the album. It was my favorite for a long time, and for a good reason.

So in total, and excellent release from the 90's. Completely essential. Go get it now.

aglasshouse | 5/5 |


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