Album Review: Round Room by Phish

4/5 stars

This disc is a complete jam session from start to finish. It brings back the days when bands would record together live as a group in the studio and although the producers had to work a bit harder, the music was pure. The elements underneath can be heard in some of the early work of Pink Floyd that drive the song "Pebbles And Marbles." The lyrics are the most structured the band has ever compiled. The band has grown as songwriters musically as well as lyrically and now bringing new components into the jam sessions. The vocal styling on "Friday" looks rooted in a Kris Kristofferson structure. This is like no other vocals that they done but the potential has always been there.

The songs have reverted away from the pop length and gone back to longer, extremely impossible, no-holds-barred tracks. The opening song, "Pebbles And Marbles", lets the listener know that they are in for the long haul and need to be prepared for a journey in musical diversity. Just when you think they have nothing left in the tank for a new album, they release yet another one. When you think they have left the lengthy songs behind they deliver Round Room that, from start to finish, overflows with jams. The final track, "Waves", is over 11 minutes long and will leave the listener cooked and exhausted.

Is it possible for the band to have more songs inside them to deliver another CD? This is an open-ended question, as the band has left no genre untouched. They have intertwined some jazzy-feeling drum lines on several tracks but fused it with country, rock and even some showtune style sounds. The progressive rock that they implement through this album should be a salute to all the hard work they have put into every release so far. This band has no limits as they have opened themselves and their fans up to so many different styles of music. They have also created their own genre, which is a culmination of everything in music's past. They have redefined melody and picked apart harmonious vocals training anyone who dares categorize their music.

The band could tour with their collection of CD releases and never play the same song twice for a couple years. They could begin playing one song and soon turn it in to a whole different song that could expand their catalog. The endless hours jamming would make any producer crazy with potential. They could copy, paste and edit to create several albums in just a short time. Bryce Googin, the producer of Round Room, had his work cut out for him. Having worked with the band on their previous release, Farmhouse, he sees to have found his way into the band's psyche and in doing so has been able to eliminate the staggering drag of such long songs. Although not breaking them down into short pop style songs and allowing the band to be who they are musically, he guides the finished product into greatness.

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Source by Rachael M Kohrn

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