But if this is a lyrical sendoff, it's also a musical argument for the band to reconsider. Undermind is not only Phish's best collection of songs since 1996's Billy Breathes, it's also the first that capitalizes on both the band's live prowess and its much-discussed desire to make a cohesive studio record.
That's mostly thanks to producer Tchad Blake, who enhances a treble-heavy mix on "Undermind" by pulling up Page McConnell's funky keys, handles Anastasio's careful plucking on "Scents and Subtle Sounds" with hands-off diligence, and, on the shuffling "Nothing," makes sure that the three-part harmonies blend into one gorgeously multitracked vocal. With Blake behind the boards, Phish has finally found its studio self; that that discovery comes at the end of the band's career isn't so much a disappointing finish as a victory lap.
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