Been listening to Phish since 1991.
Was disappointed when the band abruptly simplified their writing around '94. Then, was further disappointed as the music became more and more ordinary and less crafty, and the lyrics then followed suit. I've been patient, and I've appreciated what's come along for what it is, as much as I can. But this last album kind of put me over the top. I reacted pretty badly at first honestly. Especially the lyrics coming from Trey in particular - it's like it's the opposite of everything I've ever liked. Sorry to say it, but these lyrics are cliche and trite. And the music alongside it (outside of Petrichor) is more simplistic than ever before.
I wonder if Trey has a rule, that he will never listen to the past. Because it sounds like he hasn't heard an early 90s show ... since the early 90s.
Trey, if you're listening, I'm so sorry to be "That Guy". Your work circa '87 - '92 is truly some of the most inspiring music of my whole life. Your approach to the guitar, and the sounds, the choices you made over the material's content; even the way you sang back then kicked so much bottom .. read your Forbin's lyrics. Read Esther, read Golgi & Foam, read the Lizards. Don't listen to the jerks who insult that material. It's the real good stuff.
I respect that you can't just keep treading the same ground. But this new territory simply goes against the grain of my sense of taste.
I will keep listening to new Phish though, and I do like some of the new album. Especially Friends & Waking Up Dead. Vaccu-uming, lol.
The packaging is nice, JEMP records does a great job. [Except for that Tweezer skip, what's up w that.]