Picks and Pans Review: Farmhouse
Album of the week
Long compared to fellow space jammers the Grateful Dead, this Vermont quartet has done a masterful job of staking out its own slice of the musical ozone. But if Phish's jams are jazzier and tighter than the Dead's, their songs have often lacked that group's melodic grace and lyrical charm.
But this time out, Trey Anastasio and Co. have reeled in a collection of well-built, infectious songs that—though they lend themselves to extended improvising—also stand on their own as melodic country-pop tunes. Lead single "Heavy Things" rides Anastasio's lead guitar to a full gallop, while the laid-back groove of "Bug" packs all the understated weirdness of the Velvet Underground. "Gotta Jibboo" adds a horn section to its party-ready funk, while the folky instrumental "The Inlaw Josie Wales," (with Béla Fleck and bluegrass stalwart Jerry Douglas onboard) suggests a meditative morning in the lush Vermont hills. From front to back, Farmhouse makes for a lovely day in Phish country.
Bottom Line: This Phish will hook you