First Listen: Phish’s New Album “Fuego”

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(Phish press photo)

When I stepped into Madison Square Garden for my first Phish show at the age of 14, I could have never guessed how many more times I’d end up seeing them (innumerable at this point), especially at that particular venue. I didn’t really “get it” at the time, but it’s safe to say that it was a formative experience that contributed to my love of live music and the world of concert-going, Phish being most well-known for their elaborate and lengthy concerts / jam sessions. I haven’t been listening to a ton of Phish recently, but their new and most recent album since 2009, Fuego (June 24th via JEMP – see track listing below), has roped me back in. Produced by legendary producer Bob Ezrin, who has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Rod Stewart, the album is more on the linear side and thus more accessible, meaning they might garner even more die-hard fans. It’s also worth noting that Trey’s vocals sound better than they have in awhile, especially on the breezy sounding “Waiting All Night”, which is somewhat reminiscent of My Morning Jacket. They’ve, quite simply, tightened it up more than ever before.

The band’s drummer John Fishman, described the sound on Fuego saying, “For years, there’s been a distinct difference between how we did things live and how we did them in the studio… But the way we go about things live, the way the musical ball is passed around, is now happening much more in the studio – not because we’re trying to duplicate how we play on stage, just because this is how we operate as a band, period.”

“Waiting All Night”

“The Line” (About college basketball player Darius Washington)

Fuego track listing:

1. “Fuego”
2. “The Line”
3. “Devotion to a Dream”
4. “Halfway to the Moon”
5. “Winterqueen”
6. “Sing Monica”
7. “555”
8. “Waiting All Night”
9. “Wombat”
10. “Wingsuit”

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