Review: Phantom Planet – Raise the Dead

41auljajg7l_sl500_aa240_Since I didn’t get a chance to get to this album before I began compiling my best of 2008 list I thought I would go ahead share my thoughts about this album.

Raise The Dead, Phantom Planet’s third major label LP was not an album that I looked forward to with great anticipation. I absolutely fell in love with their first major label effort ‘The Guest’, however my opinion of this band was greatly tarnished by their self-titled sophomore release which showed me a completely uninspired band that had apparently become enamored with the nu-garage fad and decided to forego catchy well thought out melodies for talky rants and fuzz. Don’t get me wrong bands like The Strokes have a place in my heart, however, Phantom Planet should stay the hell out of that space because they DO NOT belong there. I am not sure what motivated the sonic endevours that I was forced to endure on their self-titled, perhaps it was their (lame) attempt at winning back street cred after allowing ‘California’ to become the theme song of ‘The O.C.’ Regardless of their past misgivings, their third album is a different creature.

To say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this effort from Phantom Planet is an understatement. This album is forray back into that california rock sound that made this band popular in the first place and upon listening it seemed as if they had never left us. One of the pleasant surprises found on this album was a studio version of ‘Do the Panic’ a song that previously only existed in live form and was at one point included as a bonus track on ‘The Guest’. One of the aspects of ‘The Guest’ that I found so enjoyable was the way each song seemed completely different than the one before it. While ‘Raise the Dead’ is not quite as sonicly diverse as that debut effort, it does explore several different sounds which keeps the album from becoming stagnant by the later tracks. The songwriting on this album is great, Alex Greenwald’s vocals are just as emotive and heartfelt as they have ever been. Phantom Planet has created a solid album front to back and I couldn’t be happier to welcome them back into my rotation.

–Ben

Try these tracks on for size: ‘Geronimo’ and ‘Do the Panic’

Phantom Planet – Raise the Dead: 8.7 out of 10.0

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~ by mediametric on January 16, 2009.

One Response to “Review: Phantom Planet – Raise the Dead”

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, many people have not given Raise The Dead a chance. After their last album, many of the people I talked to completely rode them off as has-beens. I believe this album is what rock n roll is all about. However, it wasn’t strong enough to keep them together.

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