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Album Review

The party line on Phish is that the band's live shows are so extraordinary, their studio records are almost superfluous by comparison; frankly, it's a ridiculous contention — apples and oranges, really — and moreover, each successive Phish album reveals new layers of intricacy and melodic invention otherwise lost in the epic explosiveness of their concert sets. Their rootsiest and most organic effort to date, Farmhouse is also their most fully developed — these are complete, concise songs and not simply outlines for extended jams, boasting a beauty and intimacy which expands the group's scope even as it serves notice of a newfound pop accessibility. It's a brave record, much less an exhibition of the band's vaunted instrumental prowess than it is a showcase for Trey Anastasio's increasingly skilled and far-reaching songwriting. The opening title cut, a gorgeously rustic country-pop ballad, immediately establishes Farmhouse's muted, relaxed tone, and despite the occasional detour like the sunny funk workout "Gotta Jibboo" or the closing instrumental jam "First Tube," by and large the set opts against kitchen-sink eclecticism in favor of an evocatively pastoral uniformity. In short, Farmhouse is everything Phish's die-hard legions no doubt hoped it wouldn't be, but as a radical reassessment of their music's purpose and approach, in many ways it's closer to the band's true spirit of innovation than any record they've made.

Customer Reviews

farmhouse must have studio album

Although Phish is not known as much for their studio albums, as they are for their live performances, I believe that this is one of their best studio albums. This album includes the beautiful song "Dirt", which sounds very clean in it's studio recording. From Farmhouse to First Tube all the tracks on this album are great! Definitely one of the Phish studio albums that you are going to want to have along with your live Phish collection.

WAYYYYYY more than Heavy Things...

This was one of (possibly the most) commercial Phish album to date, and its single "Heavy Things" received more radio play than probably any Phish song ever. While Heavy Things is still a nice song (and has been sounding great live since they returned in 2009), this album is so, so, so much more. Some of Phish's BEST live songs are recorded here, and sound great here too - look to Twist, Bug, Back on the Train, Gottaa Jibboo, Piper, Sand and First Tube to knock your socks off. Piper is probably my favorite Phish song.

best band ever

farmhouse and back on the train are easily the two best phish songs


Formed: 1983 in Burlington, VT

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

During the early '90s, Phish emerged as heirs to the Grateful Dead's throne. Although their music was somewhat similar to the Dead's sound -- an eclectic, free-form rock & roll encompassing elements of folk, jazz, country, bluegrass, and pop -- the group adhered more to jazz-derived improvisation than folk tradition. Moreover, they sported a looser, goofier attitude; after all, their drummer regularly played a vacuum during their concerts. However, Phish's main claim as the inheritors to the Dead's...
Full Bio
Farmhouse, Phish
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