Big Boat

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Big Boat
PhishBigBoatCover.jpg
Studio album by Phish
Released October 7, 2016
Recorded March–April 2016
Nashville, TN,
Burlington, VT
Genre Rock
Length 66:00
Label JEMP
Producer Bob Ezrin
Phish chronology
Amsterdam
(2015)
Big Boat
(2016)
St. Louis '93
(2017)
Singles from Big Boat
  1. "Breath And Burning"
  2. "Blaze On"

Big Boat is the 13th studio album by the American rock band Phish.[1] Recorded in Nashville, New York, and the band's home studio (The Barn) in Vermont, Big Boat was produced with Bob Ezrin — who also helmed 2014's Fuego.[2] It was released on October 7, 2016 by JEMP Records/ATO Records. It debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars [3]
Consequence of SoundB– [4]
Pitchfork5.3 / 10 [5]
PopMatters8/10 stars [6]

On AllMusic, Timothy Monger wrote, "Having reclaimed some of their studio mojo on 2014's critically lauded Fuego, jam institution Phish were more than willing to take another chance with studio legend Bob Ezrin at the helm.... Big Boat arrives a mere two years after Fuego and rides a similar sonic wave with its focus on streamlined songwriting and more concise lyrics. Like many Phish productions, a number of these songs were honed on-stage during tours..."[3]

In Consequence of Sound, Sean Barry said, "To put it simply, it has seemed for decades you were either a Phish fan or you weren’t, and there was very little chance for that to change. Recently, though, that line has begun to blur.... Luckily, the band has also released 13 studio albums over their career, and while some may completely write off the idea of listening to Phish in that kind of controlled setting, many of the records provide a convenient gateway for potential fans. For instance, their newest album, Big Boat, is wonderfully accessible thanks to its relatable sense of communal fun, as well as the band’s own self-awareness."[4]

On NPR, Mike Katzif wrote, "Outside of that ambitious closing piece ["Petrichor"], Big Boat feels less musically adventurous than many previous Phish records. But its simpler songcraft is purposeful in the way it provides a glimpse inside the heads of Anastasio, McConnell, Gordon and Fishman. After years of revealing itself through flurries of notes, hypnotic grooves and exploratory improvisations that often masked deeper meaning, Phish now seems most engaged when singing from the heart."[2]

On Pitchfork, Sam Sodomsky wrote, "Big Boat is at times overwrought and half-assed, gratingly silly and embarrassingly self-serious, both tedious and underwhelming. In other words, it’s a new Phish album. Even still, the lowest points of Big Boat manage to sink lower than just being bad-for-Phish; Big Boat is made even worse by not sounding enough like Phish."[5]

In PopMatters, Chris Ingalls said, "Personally, I feel that the misconceptions surrounding Phish do a disservice to the studio albums, which contain plenty of smart composition and easily digestible tracks for non-fans to appreciate.... 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. Who knew that Phish could produce one of their most eclectic albums a good three decades into their existence?"[6]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Friends"Jon Fishman3:43
2."Breath and Burning"Trey Anastasio4:20
3."Home"Page McConnell6:27
4."Blaze On"Anastasio, Tom Marshall4:20
5."Tide Turns"Anastasio4:21
6."Things People Do"McConnell1:55
7."Waking Up Dead"Mike Gordon, Scott Murawski4:15
8."Running Out of Time"Anastasio, Marshall3:32
9."No Men in No Man's Land"Anastasio, Marshall5:00
10."Miss You"Anastasio7:02
11."I Always Wanted It This Way"McConnell4:29
12."More"Anastasio4:22
13."Petrichor"Anastasio13:33

Personnel[edit]

Phish
Additional musicians
  • Chris Bullock: clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute on Petrichor
  • Gabriel Cabezas: cello on Petrichor
  • James Casey: tenor and baritone sax on Breath And Burning, No Men In No Man’s Land, Petrichor
  • Natalie Cressman: trombone on Breath And Burning, No Men In No Man’s Land, Petrichor
  • Andres Forero: percussion on Blaze On, Breath And Burning, No Men In No Man’s Land, Miss You, Petrichor
  • Jennifer Hartswick: trumpet on Breath And Burning, No Men In No Man’s Land, Petrichor
  • Rob Moose: violin, viola on Petrichor
  • Jeff Tanski: additional keyboards on Petrichor
  • Jim Horn: baritone sax on Tide Turns
  • Steve Herrman: trumpet on Tide Turns
  • Scott Dujac: trumpet on Tide Turns
  • Roy Agee: trombone on Tide Turns
  • Tyler Summers: alto sax on Tide Turns
  • Denis Solee: tenor sax on Tide Turns
Production
  • Produced by Bob Ezrin
  • Engineered by Justin Cortelyou and Ben Collette
  • Mixed by Justin Cortelyou and Bob Ezrin
  • Additional Engineering by Drew Bollman, Bryce Roberts, Elliot Scheiner and Jared Slomoff
  • Additional Mixing on “Petrichor” by Ben Collette and Elliot Scheiner
  • Assistant Engineers: Justin Francis, Tyler Hartman
  • Recorded at: The Barn, VT; Black River Studios, Nashville TN; Anarchy Studios, Nashville, TN; Avatar Studios, New York, NY; Slaight Music Studios, Toronto, Ont.; Megaplum, VT; The Bunker, VT; Rubber Jungle, NY; Starstruck Studios, Nashville, TN
  • Petrichor Arranged & Orchestrated by Trey Anastasio
  • Horn arrangement on No Men In No Man’s Land by Trey Anastasio and Andres Forrero
  • Horn arrangement on Breath And Burning by Trey Anastasio
  • Horn arrangement on Tide Turns by Leon Pendarvis
  • Production Management by Richard Glasgow, Kim Markovchick and Beth Montuori Rowles
  • Technical Assistance by Mike Burns, Brian Brown, Kevin Brown, Lee Scott and Derek Zelenka
  • Mixed at Anarchy Studios, Nashville, TN
  • Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc.
  • Vinyl lacquer cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
  • Photographs from the series Don’t Touch Me! by Fang Er, Courtesy of M97 Gallery
  • Cover Design & Art Direction by Julia Mordaunt
  • Layout by Ryan Corey for Smog Design, Inc.
  • Management by Coran Capshaw, Patrick Jordan and Jason Colton for Red Light Management
  • Phish Inc. is Beth Montuori Rowles, Julia Mordaunt, Richard Glasgow, Kevin Shapiro and Ben Collette
  • Business Management by Burton Goldstein & Co., LLC: Burton Goldstein, Danyael Brand and Valerie Erbstein
  • All songs published by Who Is She? Music, Inc. (BMI)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[7] 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Boat Pre-Order". Phish. September 14, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Katzif, Mike (September 29, 2016). "Review: Phish, Big Boat". NPR. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Monger, Timothy. "Big Boat – Phish". AllMusic. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Barry, Sean (October 3, 2016). "Phish – Big Boat: Jammin' Out at the End of the World". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Sodomsky, Sam (October 7, 2016). "Phish: Big Boat". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ingalls, Chris (October 4, 2016). "Phish: Big Boat". PopMatters. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Phish Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2016.