CD review : Phish “Joy”

Yes, operator, I’ll accept the charges.

So Phish, um, good to hear from you, I guess. Yeah, I heard you’re back together with a new album. Have I listened to it? Well, yes, actually I listened to Joy a couple weeks ago. Played it through once. It’s OK, I suppose.

What do I mean by “OK?” Well, it’s fine. You know, nothing really wrong with it. It’s a bit “Jerry Garcia,” but that’s fine, it’s just . . . well, it still hurts, you know? When you left in 2004, a Phish-shaped hole was left in my heart. I guess if we’re being honest, though, both of us know that things had been pretty much going downhill since Farmhouse.

You don’t agree? Come on, 2002’s Round Room was an unpolished mash-up of side projects and Undermind just felt like a collection of Trey Anastasio singles the band was contractually obligated to play. I felt ripped off and cheated. Don’t even get me started on the live albums you tried to sell me. Sixty bucks for two CDs? I was a hippie, not a hipster.

The fact of the matter is that I’ve changed. After you left I met these really nice indie bands. We’ve been seeing a lot of each other lately, and they treat me really well. Also, I have a family now. I don’t have time to go chasing you around the Midwest like the good old days. I’ve moved on.

Well yes, I still wear sandals. No, I haven’t cut my hair. Of course I still have the beard. What are you getting at? I told you, Phish, I’m happy, and just don’t know if I have time in my life for another band. I mean, Modest Mouse is set to release a new album soon, and I still haven’t even got around to listening to the Decemberists’ rock opera. I just don’t think I could give you the time you deserve. Not now, anyway.

So, listen Phish. I think I’ve outgrown you. What we had was special; I popped my concert cherry with you, and I’ll always care about you because of that. But we’re in different places. I hope you’ll understand.

Good luck, and if you decide to call again, don’t call collect.