Phantom Planet returns with ‘dead’ly new album

Katie Young

Phantom Planet

Raise the Dead

Released by Fueled by Ramen

Stater rating (out of five): ****

Phantom Planet is (finally!) back with their first album since 2004, with the release of Raise the Dead. The band has gone through major changes since their last album release, including line-up changes and record label moves. Thankfully for listeners, they’re back with zombie-like vengeance and strength.

Raise the Dead is a combination of every style and sound Phantom Planet has produced. It has the fun lyrics of their debut Phantom Planet Is Missing, the dance-ability of The Guest and the badass attitude of Phantom Planet.

The boys aren’t completely invincible, however, and the album does have a few weak spots.

The album starts off strongly with the title track “Raise the Dead.” The song builds up oh-so-slowly to the raucous chorus with ghoulish chanting, the perfect beginning to Raise the Dead.

“Leader” is arguably the strongest track off the album. The vaguely sinister lyrics about a leader and his cult are slightly unnerving, and it only gets worse when kids enter the picture. For this song, the band grabbed some kids from a local elementary school to sing the creepy chorus, urging listeners to all “join hands.” The addition of kids really adds something to the song and makes it perfect.

The album has other great songs such as “Geronimo” (complete with heavy guitars and sex-inspired lyrics!) and “Leave Yourself for Somebody Else” (perfect for driving with all your windows down and singing along!) Unfortunately, there are a few clunkers.

“Demon Daughters” and “Ship Lost at Sea” both fall a little flat, each sounding like cast-offs from the last record. “Confess” and “I Don’t Mind” are too weak to end the album, and feel like a let down after a solid beginning and middle.

Raise the Dead offers music that can be enjoyed by both hardcore fans and the passing listener. This album proves that Phantom Planet continues to be a valid band, even if they are still recognized as “that band that sings the California song.”

Contact all reporter Katie Young at [email protected].