May 2, 2002

Like A Phish Out Of Water

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Insomniacs rejoice; there’s finally a solution to your ailment. No, it isn’t sleeping pills or counting sheep — it’s Trey Anastasio’s new solo album. On his self-titled disc, the Phish frontman serves up twelve tracks that are hard to distinguish from one another, and focus more on lavish, long guitar jams rather than on the songs themselves.

“Alive Again” starts off with piano that sounds eerily like something one might overhear in an elevator, and doesn’t become any more exciting as Anastasio begins singing, “Quietly you say to me/ The time has come for you to be alive again.” The chorus then seems to dominate the rest of the song as Anastasio repeats the lines numerous times. Halfway through “Alive Again,” the audience is introduced to the horn section that fills up most of the spaces during which Anastasio isn’t singing.

In “Cayman Review,” Anastasio is backed by female vocalists and a guitar track that is similar to that found in many of the other songs on the album. The lyrics, “Shake me up/ Shake me down/ Shake that thing all over town,” also seem rather clich