Trey Anastasio Shine

For his first foray outside Phish, lead guitarist and principle songwriter Trey Anastasio released the best studio effort of his career in the self-titled, Latin-jazz drenched funk gem. Unfortunately, something happened his second time around. Instead of a ten-piece horn-buttressed jazz band accompanying him, Trey has chosen to outfit his songs with a standard, five-piece rock outfit, ultimately replacing brilliance with standard, painfully generic pop rock that has triggered much indigestion in this long-time Phish fan. If he has moved towards writing short, tightly composed pop songs, I have no problems with that; many of my favourite Phish songs are laced with pop. Unfortunately, these songs hold absolutely no weight melodically or rhythmically in the pop realm, revolve around immature lyricism and are so forced that each shift causes discomfort. This would be the penultimate album if Hanson released it; but from Trey, one of the most gifted guitarists alive, this collection is pure rubbish. Every timeless artist is allowed one mulligan, but this set is disappointing. Thankfully when Phish began heading in this direction, they sailed ashore before the boat began to sink. (Columbia)