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Joy CD (2009)

Artist: Phish

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Product Overview

Track Listing
1. Backwards Down The Number Line
2. Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
3. Joy
4. Sugar Shack
5. Ocelot
6. Kill Devil Falls
7. Light
8. I Been Around
9. Time Turns Elastic
10. Twenty Years Later


Label Jemp Records/red
SKU 211569499
UPC 825084982420
UPC 14 00825084982420
Format CD
Release Date 9/8/2009
Author Phish
Review After listening to Joy, one has to wonder whether hardcore Phish-heads, who've stuck with the band through thick and thin and bought literally millions of concert tickets, will be impressed by the band's 11th studio album. It is the group's first studio outing in five years -- a reunion album. You can ask, but Phish fans almost always prefer their live shows and albums to the studio dates (echoing of course, the first legendary jam band, the Grateful Dead). The answer? Maybe. Joy was produced by Steve Lillywhite, who also helmed 1996's Billy Breathes. He's familiar enough with Phish to be able to get inside their sound, and to try to challenge their preconceptions without tinkering too much with the process of creation. Apparently, he's also a slave driver. The reason? The labyrinthine track "Time Turns Elastic," which clocks in at over 13 minutes, took 278 takes! The tune, easily the best thing here, is far more a constructed prog rock opus than jam journey. The band -- guitaristTrey Anastasio, keyboardist Page McConnell, drummer Jon Fishman, and bassist Mike Gordon -- recorded live in the studio, so it took some time. The track was originally constructed as a full orchestral suite (and indeed will be performed with the New York Philharmonic at selected concerts). The reason the track works so well is that despite its many twists and turns musically, it keeps its various song forms, even as they flow into one another. Anastasio wrote it with poet/lyricist Tom Marshall. Gordon contributes a rather weighty reggae-jazz tune in "Sugar Shack" -- some might say it's heavy-handed, but the tune itself is simple and catchy, so it works.
Reviewer Thom Jurek
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Artist Phish
Music Format Compact Disc
Jon Regen, Billboard Joy is a journey not to be missed.
Will Hermes, Rolling Stone Magazine ...the band sticks to their strengths, making for a welcome return.

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