Phish’s new album is ‘Big Boat’ and it arrives just two years after 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘Fuego.’ Critics are weighing in on the latest from the veteran jam band and you can see a roundup of reviews right here.
Since their origin in 1983 the band has undergone numerous lineup changes and even a five-year hiatus in the Aughts, which ended with 2009’s ‘Joy.’ The band is back once again with a new release, with current members frontman and guitarist Trey Anastasio, keyboardist Page McConnell, bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman. It’s been just just two years since their most recent, ‘Fuego,’ of 2014. The new album ‘Big Boat’ unites them with the same producer, Bob Ezrin, whose stellar credits include the likes of Pink Floyd, Lou Reed and Peter Gabriel.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, said when asked about the short interview between ‘Fuego and ‘Big Boat,’ Trey Anastasio said, “It’s just a nice time with the four of us. I’m nervous about saying it too much, but there’s just a lot of love and respect among the four band members.” He added, “We’re laughing harder than we were when we were kids. We had fun hanging out and writing songs together for “Fuego,” so everyone was excited to get back to it.”
There’s been much anticipation, as always, for a new Phish album, and equal anticipation for the tour which will wrap on Halloween in Las Vegas. After all, the band has cemented their fame as a touring band, and for many the studio albums are hardly a replacement for the live experience.
Now as ‘Big Boat’ arrives in full, critics are weighing in. Here’s a roundup of reviews.
“….Big Boat, is wonderfully accessible thanks to its relatable sense of communal fun, as well as the band’s own self-awareness…..” –Consequence of Sound
“….These are nicely captured, feel-good staples that will likely have their best moments on-stage, contracting and expanding each night at the whim of the band. Where things get more interesting are on songs like Page McConnell’s “Home” and “I Always Wanted It This Way,” two tracks where Ezrin’s classic rock touch and Phish’s progressive tendencies neatly dovetail. ….” –All Music
“….On Big Boat, their rambling new album, veteran producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed) does his best to emphasize the band’s considerable knack for genre-bending exercises. ….” –Exclaim
“….I’m honestly not sure if anyone – even Phish fans… especially Phish fans – listens to their studio records. But as a teaser for some of the music that might come to fruition on the forthcoming fall tour, Big Boat (god what a stupid name for an album) is pretty tantalizing…..” -Now Toronto
“….Big Boat could easily be perceived as the natural sequel to Fuego, but it works spectacularly well on its own, with Bob Ezrin guiding the band through a variety of song styles from breezy pop to elaborate prog rock. ….” –Pop Matters
“….Phish is not known for their studio work. But for a group of musicians whose sole value has always been the simple pleasure of making music, everyone here sounds noticeably vacant…..” — Pitchfork
Check back as more reviews arrive. Meanwhile, you can see Phish’s ‘Big Boat’ album cover art and videos below.