Joy (Phish album)

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Joy
Studio album by Phish
Released September 8, 2009 (US)
Recorded April - May 2009
Chung King Studios
(New York City)
Genre Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia
Label JEMP Records
Producer Steve Lillywhite
Phish chronology
At the Roxy
(2008)
Joy
(2009)
Hampton/Winston-Salem '97
(2011)
LivePhish.com Downloads series chronology
Live Phish Downloads: 08.16.09
(2008)
Live Phish Downloads: Live Bait, Vol. 1
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Billboard Magazine (83/100)[2]
PopMatters 4/10 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]

Joy is the eleventh official studio album by the American rock band Phish, released on September 8, 2009, on the band's own label, JEMP Records. The album marked Phish's return after a four year break, and also re-united the band with producer Steve Lillywhite, who last worked with Phish on their 1996 release, Billy Breathes.

Noting that 2009 marked the band's 25th anniversary together, Rolling Stone described Joy's songs as something akin to "a belated birthday party" characterized by nostalgic, reflective lyrics that appear to be influenced by guitarist Trey Anastasio's struggle with drug abuse during the intervening years. Rolling Stone praised the album as "genuinely great" and "a deeper trip than most Phish LPs".[5]

The first single, "Time Turns Elastic"—originally a multi-movement work for strings, guitar and vocals released as an album earlier in the year by Anastasio—was released for iTunes-only download on May 26, 2009.[6] The album's second single, "Backwards Down The Number Line", was released on iTunes and began radio rotation on August 17, 2009.

Amazon.com released an exclusive live version of "Backwards Down the Number Line", recorded at Red Rocks during the band's summer tour, as a download-only bonus track.

All ten songs were performed live during the band's 2009 summer tour, and have been generally well received by fans. However, "Time Turns Elastic" has been criticized as being too overly composed for ready translation to the live stage,[7] and the album's nostalgic ballads are sometimes thought to dampen the energy of Phish's typically acclaimed live shows.

Reception[edit]

Joy received generally favorable reviews upon its release, with a 65/100 critic score on MetaCritic, based on nine reviews.[8] The New York Times commented that "Steve Lillywhite’s clear and ungimmicky production makes Joy sound like the band members onstage responding to one another,"[9] while Billboard simply stated "Joy is a journey not to be missed."[10]

Many critics also made reference to the band's enthusiasm, with Rolling Stone commenting that "what's most impressive here is how much they seem to be enjoying themselves—truly, deeply, gratefully."[5] Additionally, The Record Review remarked on the duality of the band's longevity and continued creativity, stating "twenty years later, Phish has returned to form and turned in a winner."[11]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Backwards Down the Number Line" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 5:37
  2. "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan" (Anastasio, Scott Herman, Marshall) - 4:40
  3. "Joy" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 4:24
  4. "Sugar Shack" (Gordon) - 4:04
  5. "Ocelot" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 3:36
  6. "Kill Devil Falls" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 5:29
  7. "Light" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 5:02
  8. "I Been Around" (McConnell) - 1:57
  9. "Time Turns Elastic" (Anastasio) – 13:30
  10. "Twenty Years Later" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 5:03

Boxed set and Party Time[edit]

It was announced on August 10, 2009, that Joy would be made available for pre-order in several different formats, including CD, vinyl and the "Joy Box" which, in addition to the Joy CD, "will include ten individual Limited Edition posters designed for each of the album’s 10 songs, a complete second album titled Party Time, and a DVD capturing live performances from the first half of Phish’s summer 2009 tour—including footage from the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the tour’s opening date at Fenway Park in Boston." [12]

A limited edition vinyl was also released at Superball IX, Phish's 2011 summer festival. Party Time is available as a LivePhish download, but has not yet been made available for stand-alone purchase as a physical CD.

Some of the songs on Party Time have become a part of Phish's live rotation, with Alaska and the title track appearing frequently, as well as appearances of Windy City, Gone, The Birdwatcher, and Let Me Lie. Liquid Time was soundchecked at Festival 8 in Indio, CA. Mike Gordon has played Only A Dream regularly with his solo band, and Trey Anastasio has played Gone and Liquid Time with his solo outfit.

Party Time tracklisting[edit]

  1. "Party Time" (Fishman) - 2:42
  2. "Alaska" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 7:16
  3. "Windy City" (McConnell) - 2:41
  4. "In a Misty Glade" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 2:51
  5. "Gone" (Anastasio) - 4:09
  6. "Only a Dream" (Gordon) - 4:10
  7. "The Birdwatcher" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 2:16
  8. "Let Me Lie" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 3:57
  9. "If I Told You" (McConnell) - 3:53
  10. "Splinters of Hail" (Anastasio) - 3:33
  11. "Can't Come Back" (Gordon) - 4:38
  12. "Shrine" (Anastasio, Marshall) - 1:54
  13. "Liquid Time" (Anastasio) - 3:53

Personnel[edit]

Phish

Trey Anastasio - guitars, vocals
Page McConnell - keyboards, vocals
Mike Gordon - bass guitar, vocals
Jon Fishman - drums, vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Billboard Magazine review
  3. ^ PopMatters review
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ a b Hermes, Will (September 8, 2009). "Phish: Joy". Rolling Stone album review. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  6. ^ Phish’s Time Turns Elastic on iTunes Glide Magazine. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.
  7. ^ ALBUM REVIEW: Phish's Joy Hightimes. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Phish's Joy Reviews & Ratings Metacritic.com. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "New CDs". The New York Times. September 7, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Regen, Jon. Phish, "Joy" Billboard Magazine. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.
  11. ^ Phish Twenty-Odd Years Later The Record Review. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.
  12. ^ Phish Dry Goods "Joy Box" Phish.com. Online. Accessed: September 13, 2011.

External links[edit]