Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Lyrical obscurity is this band’s modus operandi. The most coherent positives yearn to escape the "push and shove" of civilization ("Dirt") and illustrate how youthful ideal- ism can be frustrated by the daily demands of life ("Back on the Train"). A few tunes transmit neutral themes, such as trying in vain to reenter a dream ("Sleep"), contemplating cluster flies ("Farmhouse") or reconfiguring the letters in a loved one’s name to pass the time while she’s away ("Twist"). Cryptic, but harmless. Meanwhile, "First Tube" and "The Inlaw Josie Wales" are strictly instrumental.
Just when Phish seems prepared to ponder the Creator, the singer dismisses the thought as if finding God were trivial ("Bug"). Another theological tripwire is planted in "Sand" ("I would choose my own religion and worship my own spirit/But if he ever preached to me I wouldn’t want to hear it/I’d drop him, a forgotten god, languishing in shame/And then if I hit stormy seas, I’d have myself to blame"). "Gotta Jibboo" alludes to alcohol use.
The band’s cult following has turned concerts into pilgrimages. Fortunately this disc, even with its disappointing flaws, avoids many of the problems found on previous Phish platters (including obscenities and violence). But floundering spirituality keeps it from being a keeper.