• Paul Wirt

Phish Sigma Oasis Album Review

Phish have been bouncing around concert halls, festivals, arenas, stadiums, and pretty much everywhere else they could play for almost four decades. In that time, the band has created a universe unto itself by staying true to their jam roots while not being afraid to tinker with their sound on occasion. Sigma Oasis is Phish's fifteenth studio album and if you have listened to any of their previous releases you are right in guessing that it sounds rather "Phishy". The musicianship is superb as always and lead vocalist/guitarist Trey Anastasio's guitar is dialed in perfectly with a crisp but not too crunchy tone. Bassist Mike Gordon brings a blend of funk and rock inspired low end. Keyboardist Page McConnell switches between soulful piano passages reminiscent of The Rolling Stones' "Shine A Light" (see "Shade", "A Life Beyond the Dream", and "Leaves") and the more spaced out jams of "Thread", "Mercury", "Everything's Right", and "Sigma Oasis". Drummer John Fishman keeps the music moving along at its intended pace, and for the most part this outing is relaxed with the tempo never getting in much of a hurry. The collection of songs presented on Sigma Oasis will do little to turn Phish fans away from the band and may even help convert some new fans to their cause but for the most part this is a prototypical Phish album and fifteen albums into their career, being a model of consistency should not be viewed as a negative. The majority of the songs on Sigma Oasis have been well-tested in a live environment, which explains the organic sound of the studio recording. None of the songs sound forced or spur of the moment. The performances are locked in but each band member gives his fellow Phishians just the right amount of room in the mix, leaving us with a finished product of well-executed jams that will fit in nicely during the band's epic live shows. Rating- 7.7


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