Undermind [Bonus DVD]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The idea of splitting up must almost certainly have been in the collective Phish subconscious during the recording of this, their de facto farewell album. Undermind is the most -- for lack of a better word -- "commercial" thing to have emerged from the lil' ol' band from Vermont in their two-decade history. The disc's initial single, "The Connection," clocks in at a sensible three minutes and doesn't veer off its chosen path, a trek through insistently chiming neo-R.E.M. territory, for even a moment. The burnished title track -- a sort of rustic funk groove that could've issued forth from Big Pink -- is just as concise, and every bit as warming. Keyboardist Page ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The idea of splitting up must almost certainly have been in the collective Phish subconscious during the recording of this, their de facto farewell album. Undermind is the most -- for lack of a better word -- "commercial" thing to have emerged from the lil' ol' band from Vermont in their two-decade history. The disc's initial single, "The Connection," clocks in at a sensible three minutes and doesn't veer off its chosen path, a trek through insistently chiming neo-R.E.M. territory, for even a moment. The burnished title track -- a sort of rustic funk groove that could've issued forth from Big Pink -- is just as concise, and every bit as warming. Keyboardist Page McConnell asserts himself a bit more here than usual, lacing Undermind with introspective, deliberate numbers, such as the subtly swelling "Army of One," that counterbalance the more skronky offerings cooked up by guitarist Trey Anastasio. In keeping with his fondness for dadaist digressions, Anastasio outdoes himself with "A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing," which reconciles garage-band stomp with Sun Ra┬ľstyled freakouts. In light of Phish's breakup announcement, Undermind leaves something of a bittersweet aftertaste, but the satisfaction in knowing the band are bowing out at the top of their game makes it easy to accentuate the positive.
All Music Guide
What's important to remember is that Phish is the kind of band whose hallmark moments don't happen in the studio, but on-stage where they feel most at home. That said, Undermind continues in the longstanding tradition of almost but not quite capturing the full band on all cylinders. It's the difference between watching an animal in its native habitat and in a caged environment: not quite as exciting, but still a curiosity to respect and observe with interest. Like previous endeavors, the band wastes no time settling into familiar territory, favoring simple song structures and sketches over lengthy instrumental passages a trait they've deliberately focused upon since Hoist nearly a decade ago. However, Undermind lacks the stylistic diversity that graced many of their earlier albums, opting for a more cohesive sound and tone throughout. Gone are the uptempo, peppy jams and forays into diverse musical waters, replaced here by a band whose members seem to be running on fumes at some points and a full tank of fuel on others. As always, the musicianship remains top-notch, a testament to the high standards of quality Phish have consistently maintained over the past two decades. There are moments of typical Phish brilliance e.g., opening and closing with an [unintentional?] homage to legendary Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks. Lyrics of surrealist imagery that border on haunting run rampant at times, and the album's closing moment "Grind" serves as an uncomfortable swan song comparable to McCartney's happy accident at the end of Abbey Road. And while it wasn't publicly confirmed that Undermind was to be their last album the bandmembers announced mere weeks before its release that this was to be their last record, shades of the band's winter could be subtly interpreted by various song lyrics especially on "Undermind" and "Crowd Control". And while the album is still more focused and a much-needed improvement over 2002's Round Room and their finest since Billy Breathes, Undermind is essentially the sound of four musicians growing tired of the limits they've imposed on one another after decades of albums and touring. However, if this is to be the band's curtain call, fans will find solace in a long line of live CDs for years to come. [This particular version of Undermind
Rolling Stone - Mark Kemp
If Phish really are going out this time, they're going out in style.

If Phish really are going out this time, they're going out in style.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/2004
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596296922
  • Catalog Number: 62969

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Scents and Subtle Sounds (Intro) (1:37)
  2. 2 Undermind (4:57)
  3. 3 The Connection (2:25)
  4. 4 A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing (6:23)
  5. 5 Army of One (5:01)
  6. 6 Crowd Control (3:34)
  7. 7 Maggie's Revenge (1:43)
  8. 8 Nothing (4:08)
  9. 9 Two Versions of Me (3:45)
  10. 10 Access Me (2:38)
  11. 11 Scents and Subtle Sounds (5:05)
  12. 12 Tomorrow's Song (1:56)
  13. 13 Secret Smile (6:41)
  14. 14 Grind (0:59)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Specimens of Beauty (26:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Phish Primary Artist
Trey Anastasio Group Member
Jonathan Fishman Group Member
Page McConnell Group Member
Mike Gordon Group Member
Ray Paczkowski fender rhodes
John Dunlop Cello
Laura Markowitz Violin
Kathy Andrew Violin
Dieuwke Davydov Cello
Signy Glendinning Violin
Hilary Hatch Viola
Sofia Hersh Violin
Pam Reit Viola
Katherine Winterstein Violin
Technical Credits
Maria Schneider Arranger
Trey Anastasio Composer, Engineer
Tchad Blake Producer, Engineer
Jonathan Fishman Composer
Bryce Goggin Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Page McConnell Composer
Danny Clinch Director
Mike Gordon Composer
Tom Marshall Composer
Jared Slomoff Engineer
Christopher Plummer Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Two thumbs down

    Cd sucked. Gave 2 stars cuz of maybe one or two ok songs and because it is Phish. Bottom, line, too poppy, no jams. I thought Round Room was pretty solid considering them just coming off hiatus. Round Room also clocked in at over 70 minutes, this is way too short and just not Phish-like. The last album had 5 maybe 6 good songs. They didn't even take the time to play most of the songs on the last tour, thankfully. But it is by far their worst album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If anything, buy this for the DVD!

    Phish has nothing to prove, and you know all of their albums don't compare to their shows. For those of you looking for the next YEM, you'll be disappointed. But given that Phish has pretty much done it all, I decided not to have high expectations for this. There are definitely the poppy songs that don't even sound like them, but there are a couple of extended jams that are reminiscent of their live sound. This cd is not great, but not too bad. I gave it 3 stars, but the dvd pushed it to 4. I definitely enjoyed watching them jam in "the barn." I hope they release the Brooklyn-KeySpan dvd soon!

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