Round Room

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
As anyone would know from listening to this jamming juggernaut over the years, Phish are unique in their zest for blending far-reaching influences into their pastiche without shaking its foundation. The two-year hiatus the members used to explore other musical avenues has only heightened that sense of adventure. More important, it's given the band a rare chance to start over -- if not from square one, at least from a square other than the one the members occupied prior to the break. Round Room gives ample evidence of that renewal, and also addresses the band's internal combustion, particularly on the brooding "Friday" and the ethereal, headphone-perfect "All of These ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
As anyone would know from listening to this jamming juggernaut over the years, Phish are unique in their zest for blending far-reaching influences into their pastiche without shaking its foundation. The two-year hiatus the members used to explore other musical avenues has only heightened that sense of adventure. More important, it's given the band a rare chance to start over -- if not from square one, at least from a square other than the one the members occupied prior to the break. Round Room gives ample evidence of that renewal, and also addresses the band's internal combustion, particularly on the brooding "Friday" and the ethereal, headphone-perfect "All of These Dreams." More significant, the band -- perhaps caught up in the whirl of a non-stop, four-day recording session -- manages to capture a good deal of the "X-Factor" that's made their live performances so legendary. No fewer than five of Round Room's tunes stretch into improvisational exercises -- whether designed to work out the brain cells ("Pebbles and Marbles") or tug at the heart strings ("Walls of the Cave") -- wrapping the listener as closely as a mom would swaddle her babe. Both comforting and venturesome, Round Room lives up to its titular implication that Phish won't allow themselves to be cornered into any one musical genre.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Phish reunited unexpectedly late in the summer of 2002. It was a bit of a shock, since their announced hiatus of 2000 seemed at least semi-permanent, yet this didn't have the vibe of a cash-in, even if their respective solo projects of the early 2000s didn't make many waves. The impromptu reunion felt spontaneous, as if the band simply felt like playing again. Certainly, the resulting album, Round Room, feels ramshackle, laid-back, and haphazard. Released mere months after its recording, it doesn't so much sound haphazard as it does unfinished, as if you're eavesdropping on a band rehearsal or even a writing session. Apart from the lovely, understated Farmhouse, Phish albums always meander, so it's nothing new that the focus is fuzzy on Round Room. What's weird is that there's very little shape to the songs. Often, only a bare sketch of a song is discernible, and even those are never played as if that sketch is final. Which all makes for kind of a murky listen and certainly not the cash-in crossover that a publicized reunion of a cult favorite could have been. Unfortunately, it's not particularly interesting, either, since it lacks the spirit of their live improvisations or, say, the layered ambitions of Trey Anastasio's excellent solo album of 2002. It is intermittently fascinating, particularly because this is as unvarnished as any album by a major artist, but instead of revealing a new side of Phish, it just sounds incomplete. Although this is kind of a disappointment, it's also kind of admirable because the band isn't afraid to work out the kinks in public, and it has enough intriguing ideas scattered throughout to suggest that now that this is out of their system, they have a better album ahead of them.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
You can hear why they made these rehearsals the album: Virtually everything on these seventy-eight minutes breathes with an anxious, edge-of-the-seat intensity that's missing from their previous studio efforts.
Blender - J.D. Considine
[Round Room] has... a loose, off-the-cuff feel.

You can hear why they made these rehearsals the album: Virtually everything on these seventy-eight minutes breathes with an anxious, edge-of-the-seat intensity that's missing from their previous studio efforts.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/10/2002
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596285025
  • Catalog Number: 62850
  • Sales rank: 106,501

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Pebbles and Marbles (11:39)
  2. 2 Anything But Me (4:30)
  3. 3 Round Room (4:15)
  4. 4 Mexican Cousin (3:16)
  5. 5 Friday (6:32)
  6. 6 Seven Below (8:31)
  7. 7 Mock Song (4:29)
  8. 8 46 Days (6:15)
  9. 9 All of These Dreams (4:08)
  10. 10 Walls of the Cave (9:59)
  11. 11 Thunderhead (3:21)
  12. 12 Waves (11:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Phish Primary Artist
Bryce Goggin Recorder
Technical Credits
Jonathan Fishman Contributor
Bryce Goggin Producer
Fred Kevorkian Mastering
Page McConnell Contributor
Peter J. Carini Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sorry Rolling Stone!

    None of Phish's album up until this point have lacked anything. This album however I put aside quickly but will deffinately get another try soon. (if that says anything) I didnt like ghost or farmhouse at first either but now they are each completey their own thing and I regard them to be as great as anything they've ever done. I don't know if will ever say this about round room, maybe. we'll see. I didnt care for any of these songs live either, maybe it was because for the first time they havent been able to play them live first before putting them on an album. Phish's songs sometimes seem to evolve the more and more they are played live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing!

    I am writing a review because of the horrible reviews of my fellow reviewers. Round Room, tied with Billy Breathes, is probably Phish's best studio album ever; they are more of a live band. McConnell and Anastasio do some eclectic stuff, and it's really interesting. The best tracks are Pebbles and Marbles, Friday, 46 Days, and All of These Dreams, where McConnell's solo piano makes the song when accompanied by Trey doing his thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    2 years for this?

    It would have been nice if they spent 46 days on the album instead of 4. This album was the complete opposite of what I expected after a long hiatus from the band. I was hoping for something to punch me in the eye. If you're into the more mellow Phish songs in which Trey's sappy voice doesn't get to you, then this one's for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    LISTEN..........MORE THAN ONCE!!

    Reading other reviews, I believe people have judged it way to quickly. This is Phish and every album has always been quickly listed as poor or "not phish." How could it not be Phish when they wrote it and recorded it? This album is awesome. I have listened to this album about twenty or thirty times and at about number 3 I really loved the album. They may not have that playful lyrical stream they once had but they are also almost forty years old and its time for them to put out their emotions. I love this album and it needs to be given time to develop. Take it all in, go for a drive with it just on repeat. You will then know!! Good to see the fellas back!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A NON-STUDIO, STUDIO ALBUM!

    MY PERSONAL OPINION AFTER LISTENING TO THE NEW PHISH CD 5 TIMES THIS WEEKEND IS THIS: IT IS THE MOST NON-STUDIO STUDIO ALBUM I HAVE EVER HEARD. THEY HAVE REALLY SUCCEEDED IN CAPTURING THEIR ENERGY AND SPONTINAITY OF THEIR LIVE SHOWS ON A STUDIO ALBUM. THE SONGS ARE RAW AND HAVE THE SAME SENSE OF ENJOYMENT THAT THEY HAD WHILE RECORDING PICTURE OF NECTAR. THERE IS NOT A WEAK SONG ON THE ALBUM EXCEPT FOR MAYBE THUNDERHEAD BUT WITH 78 MINUTES OF MUSIC I CAN LET THAT SLIDE. I THINK THEY HAVE ESTABLISHED THEIR COMMITTMENT TO DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST -JAM - BUT HAVE ALSO, GOTTEN BACK TO MELODIES THAT ARE SWEET BUT NOT HOKEY. TREY'S VOCALS ON ¿ANYTHING BUT ME¿ ARE BETTER THAN ANYTHING I HAVE HEARD AND ¿SEVEN BELOW¿ IS RETROSPECTIVE OF THEIR ABILITY TO INCORPORATE JAZZY SOUNDING RIFTS WITH DRIVING DRUMS. LISTEN TO FISHMAN'S DRUMMING -HE IS IN RARE FORM ON THIS ALBUM. OVERALL, ROUND ROOM IS THE PINNICAL OF THEIR CAREERS TO DATE, A MATERPIECE IF YOU WILL AND REALLY DEFINES WHAT THEY ARE ALL ABOUT. THERE ARE SONGS THAT SOUND LIKE THEY COULD HAVE BEEN RECORDED DURING THE JUNTA DAYS BUT WITH ADDED FRESHNESS AND VITALITY. THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST MATURE AND SPIRITED PHISH HAVE RECORDED. GIVE IT A LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES AND SEE IF YOU CAN'T PICTURE YOURSELF IN THE FRONT ROW OF A SHOW AT MADISION SQUARE GARDEN - IT SOUNDS THAT GOOD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    As Close to Live as it Gets...

    I always have to listen to new Phish studio albums several times before making any conclusion...they grow on you. Right off, "Pebbles and Marbles" stuck in my head the rest of the day. I have commented several times how much tracks like "Seven Below" sound live. I notices this album was recorded in 4 or 5 days. "Walls of the Cave" is on now and I've got to turn it up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sweet Nectar of the Gods!

    Daddy like. Over all there's a pretty mellow vibe but look out when they take off and jam! Very inspired and has a real loose feel to it. It really feels like you are privvy to a pre-tour/post hiatus warmup party at the Barn. It's a warm recording and it seems spontaneous in that some of the songs are just being roughed out. It's cool that the band decided to release this as it shows their renewed enthusiasm. Page sounds FANTASTIC too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not Phor everyone.

    An emotional side is enveloped in many of the tracks in this album. It seems to me to be a forefront for whats to come in thier jamming shows. The songs are raw and enstill a new gene of the Phish legacy. Page McConnells swirling piano sounds resonate loudly while Trey lays off on the heavy jamming. It's a great album, but had much more potential. I think the band owed it to the fans to take more time to regroup in the studio and produce something with a little more substance and vitallity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the next step

    I must say I have just listened to Round Room two times in a row and its a lot to take in. It starts out mellow but the sound is very full and extremely interesting. It seems it is less of a studio album than their previous albums like Ghost or Rift as there is a lot of improv and playing off of each other going on, particulary on my favorite Waves, the album closer. After a couple listens its already one of my favorite Phish songs ever as it encompasses lots of emotion. The songs are also a lot looser, making for a better feel in my eyes. The album also rocks out pretty well on the track 46 Days. I don't think many Phish fans will be disappointed by this one, unless they're expecting a lot of soloing by Trey, which doesn't happen often, but it doesn't hurt either as there is lots to take in. This is definitely the next step for Phish and I hope it continues.

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews