Fuego (Phish album)

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Fuego
Phish-Fuego.jpg
Studio album by Phish
Released June 24, 2014
Recorded Late 2013
Studio Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Nashville, Burlington, Vermont[1]
Genre Rock
Length 54:33
Label JEMP
Producer Bob Ezrin
Phish chronology
Niagara Falls
(2013)Niagara Falls2013
Fuego
(2014)
Amsterdam
(2015)Amsterdam2015
Singles from Fuego
  1. "Waiting All Night"
    Released: May 14, 2014
  2. "The Line"
    Released: May 27, 2014
  3. "555"
    Released: June 12, 2014

Fuego is an album by the American rock band Phish.[1] Released on June 24, 2014, it was their twelfth official studio album and their first in five years, since 2009's Joy. The album is a mix of rock, soul, reggae, and bluegrass.[2]

Fuego was recorded in late 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee after a series of writing sessions at the Barn in Vermont and was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel). While Fuego's ten new tracks include songs that individual members brought to the table in usual Phish fashion, the bulk of the material was written by all four, working together at the Barn,[3] often writing in a stream-of-consciousness style.[4]

In a playful spin on Phish's tradition of musical costumes, the band debuted eight songs from the album on October 31, 2013[5] as the second set of their Halloween concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[6] The original working title of the album was Wingsuit,[2] but in May 2014 Phish announced that the album would be called Fuego. Ultimately, three songs included in the Halloween performance debut didn't make it onto the studio version: "Snow", "Amidst the Peals of Laughter", and "You Never Know".[7] "Halfway to the Moon" made its live debut in 2010[8] and "Winterqueen" was debuted by Trey Anastasio Band in 2011, before Phish performed it for the first time at the 2013 Halloween show.[9]

One track, "Waiting All Night", was released on NPR's website on May 14, 2014, along with a complete track listing of the album.[10] A second song, "The Line", was released online for streaming on May 27, 2014,[11][12] and a third, "555", was released on YouTube on June 12, 2014. On June 15, 2014, the entire album was made available to the public to stream online on NPR's website as a part of its "First Listen" series.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic71/100[14]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[15]
Consequence of SoundB–[16]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[17]

In Rolling Stone, Will Hermes wrote, "Let's say you wanted to write a Phish album in 2014.... Most important, you'd write optimistic songs that can be jammed all the way up to our depleted ozone in concert. Phish do all this on their 12th studio LP — struggling to transform the onstage magic into bits and bytes, and mostly nailing it.... Geek-funk grooves spaz-out merrily, and producer Bob Ezrin keeps it feeling live. Lyrics remain an Achilles' heel, but sometimes Phish hit profundity sideways.... "A hero's what I'm not," Anastasio sings ruefully, before spinning out another set of guitar lines that prove him exactly wrong."[17]

On AllMusic, Fred Thomas said, "Instead of an overblown studio creation, Fuego instead finds the band sounding relaxed and connected, but also distinctly articulate in their often complex twists and turns. More than the smart production, Fuego is a standout in Phish's sometimes less-than-impressive studio catalog on the strengths of its ten stellar tracks, inspired tunes that share a loose thread as they bound between virtuosic playing, flirtations with gospel and funk, and the kind of eclectic rock jamming Phish have made their name on.... With sharp production and some of the better compositions Phish have managed in ages, Fuego ranks among their best studio albums, capturing strands of the frenetic, cartoonish, darkly cautionary, and open-hearted expressions that make their concerts such moving experiences, but which often get lost when the tape starts rolling."[15]

On Consequence of Sound, Jake Cohen wrote, "... we must judge Fuego on its ability to stand alone as a work of studio art. On that merit, it has much to applaud. Phish wisely avoided trying to capture the live experience on wax, instead hiring the well-pedigreed classic rock producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper).... Like the compositions themselves, the brilliance of Ezrin’s work here is in the nuances.... Thankfully, this album's shortcomings are not due to a drying up of creativity or motivation.... Phish wrote most of these songs together, while the basic rhythms and progressions come directly from some of their best recent concert jams. Their democratic approach to composition signals a more mature band, while individual contributions from Gordon and McConnell are some of their strongest to date."[16]

In Mountain Weekly News, Zach Jones said, "For over 30 years, Phish has risen from a college jam band in Vermont to one of the largest touring bands to date. Long heralded as the band that would replace the Grateful Dead, Phish has evolved as much more than a replacement band. They have dealt with their own ups and downs, highs and lows, and came out a much stronger, tighter band, which is evident on their latest release, Fuego."[18]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 32,000 copies in the United States.[19] The album has sold 71,000 copies in the United States as of September 2016.[20]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Fuego"Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell9:15
2."The Line"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell5:21
3."Devotion to a Dream"Anastasio, Tom Marshall5:47
4."Halfway to the Moon"McConnell6:34
5."Winterqueen"Anastasio, Marshall4:21
6."Sing Monica"Anastasio, Marshall3:13
7."555"Gordon, Scott Murawski5:41
8."Waiting All Night"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell4:58
9."Wombat"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell3:18
10."Wingsuit"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell6:05

Personnel[edit]

Phish

Additional musicians

  • Horns – Charles Rose, Harvey Thompson, Doug Moffet, Vincent Ciesielski
  • Background vocals – Vicki Hampton, Maureen Murphy, Joshua Guillaume, Bob Ezrin, Marie Lewey, Cindy Walker, Carla Russell

Production

  • Produced and mixed by Bob Ezrin
  • Recording engineers: Justin Cortelyou, John Gifford III
  • Mix engineers: Justin Cortelyou, Jarod Snowden
  • Additional engineers: Joshua Guillaume, Ben Collette, Kam Lutcherhand, Justin Francis, Jared Slomoff, Garry Brown
  • Pre-production engineer: Ben Collette
  • Programmer: Reavis Mitchell
  • Technical assistance: Mike Burns, Brian Brown, Kevin Brown, Lee Scott
  • Production coordinator: Kim Markovchick
  • Paintings: Paco Pomet
  • Design: Jeri Heiden, Julia Mordaunt

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reed, Ryan (May 14, 2014). "Phish Prep Fuego, First New Studio Album in Five Years", Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Holle, Samantha (November 4, 2013). "Phish Offer Fresh Surprises at Halloween Show". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ "New Studio Album Fuego Released June 24th", Phish.com, May 14, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Budnick, Dean (July_August, 2014). "Around the Fire with Phish." Relix Magazine 257:50
  5. ^ "October 31, 2013 Setlist", Phish.com. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Eisen, Benjy (November 1, 2013). "Phish Treat Fans to Unrecorded New Album on Halloween". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ "October 31, 2013 Setlist", Phish.net. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "'Halfway to the Moon' – Every Time Played", Phish.net. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Audio: Trey Anastasio's Two New Tunes, Hidden Track Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Boilen, Bob (May 14, 2014). "Hear a Song from Fuego, the First New Phish Album in 5 Years", NPR. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "Hear Phish's Dramatic Basketball Jam "The Line" – Premiere", Rolling Stone, May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Chase, Chris (May 29, 2014). "Trey Anastasio Explains How Phish Turned College Basketball Heartbreak into a Song", USA Today. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  13. ^ Katzif, Michael (June 15, 2014). "First Listen: Phish, Fuego, NPR. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "Fuego by Phish". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Thomas, Fred. Fuego, AllMusic. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Cohen, Jake (June 24, 2014). Fuego, Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Hermes, Will (June 24, 2014). Fuego, Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  18. ^ Fuego, Phish Review, Mountain Weekly News. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  19. ^ Caulfield, Keith (July 2, 2014). "Ed Sheeran's X Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200", Billboard. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]