Trey Anastasio - Shine (DualDisc) Review
I never was a Phish fan. Ever. And even though I wasn't really ever a fan of the Grateful Dead's music until after Jerry passed, I could come to appreciate the Dead as the grandfather's of jam-rock, in addition to being excellent musicians, and usually viewed Phish as a rip-off of the Dead. That being said, my first dose of Trey Anastasio was on Dave Matthews 2003 solo release "Some Devil". In it, I heard what I was told was Trey's signature guitar sound. Not bad, I thought, considering that I had a great amount of respect for DMB, and Dave's solo work, and knew he'd assembled an all-star lineup to back his solo album and ensuing tour. So when the chance presented itself to take a stab at Trey's first post-Phish solo effort, I thought, "Sure, why not."
Upon first listen to the opening title track, "Shine", it's apparent that this release is a departure of sorts from what fans had come to expect from Phish. The opening song presents itself as an easy-to-listen-to straight up rock song, void of endless jams, and obviously much more radio-friendly in nature. As the album continues on, it carries throughout an upbeat, happy vibe, with hints of jam potential hidden underneath. The album has its ups and downs, but fortunately, even for me, it has more of the former than the latter.
The DualDisc also includes a 30-40 minute dvd, featuring 4 live songs recorded at Red Rocks, and intertwined with interview footage with Trey regarding the new release, the recording process, and a general feel for where he's at currently at this point in his career. The live footage is well shot (can it really be bad if it's at Red Rocks?), and some of Trey's 'jam' potential is tapped at the end of a few songs, showcasing his excellent guitar work, as well as the band he's assembled to play live with him. What's easily noticeable in the live footage is how his surrounding band seems to have embraced the songs just as much as he has. When playing as a supporting musician for a solo artist, that seems to be rare these days.
Overall, if you don't have this release already, the DualDisc is a definite must. I don't know that owners of the cd when it was released back in November will want to run out and get this cd just for the dvd footage, but it's a nice addition to a solid album nonetheless. It will be interesting to see if Trey's staying power as a solo artist will hold up to the following Phish once held as a band.
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Trey Anastasio - Shine (DualDisc)
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