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Album Review: Lawn Boy by Phish

October 13, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 122

5/5 STARS!

Trey Anastasio, Page Mcconnell, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman have put together a solid album that will take you on a ride down so many new roads that it is hard to say if you will find your way home. If you are a fan of Frank Zappa, this is truly a nod to the legendary artist. The band takes the expectations to another level with Lawn Boy. The sometimes off-the-cuff playing during the recording of Junta has been polished and shined to put together a prodigious collection of songs.

The band has begun to experiment with an array of lyrics that ebb and flow and have begun to complete each song rather than play against the music. "I'd like to lick the coil someday/like Icarus, who had to pay/with melting wax and feathers brown/he tasted it on his way down" are reminiscent of Pink Floyd's lyrics scattered throughout The Wall and they even have some distant background vocals by Christine Lynch that are eerily familiar. They leave no stone unturned as they throw their coins in the hat with some country sounds.

"Reba" and "My Sweet One" drive home some astounding country melodies that have a distinct country/rock appeal. "Reba" is quite the lengthy number for a country-styled song, but when the band begins to jam out in the middle it is easily forgotten that the song had such a contrasting start. The drums during "My Sweet One" culminate all of the country stars that were a powerhouse before Rockabilly sucked it up and changed the direction. When the harmonies are added with the fast twanging guitar it only further swims in the country genre.

The band does not leave the funky approach that was sprinkled all over Junta. On "Split Open And Melt", they push the limits of progressive rock while giving it that polished funk fusion and then top it off with a dash of barbershop singing. Then they rock out the end, leaving you thinking that this can only happen at the end of an album, but far be it for Phish to follow any pattern. Then the band goes into pure craziness that leads off the second half of the release.

"Bathtub Gin" has lyrics that tell a story that is as wild as it is humorous. The title could be as much about seriously taking a bath in alcohol as potentially about the act of sex. It is hard to tell what the desired effect is that they are intending, but who cares? The track is so upbeat that the lyrics are just fun to sing. The lengthy "Run Like An Antelope" is a fitting segway into the jazz/blues title track that has Frank Sinatra making new fans. They do a great job modernizing his style, allowing the music to welcome the vocals for a complete revival.

This is another musical experience that only Phish can hit out of the ballpark. Rock and pop music are going to give this record a second look but as all great records go, it is the fans that will not let this one slip by unnoticed.

RUSTYSCAGE.COM/MUSIC

Source: EzineArticles
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