Anastasio’s new album doesn’t ‘Shine’

Britten Stark


Trey Anastasio


Released on Columbia Records

Stater rating (out of four): **


Don’t expect a Phish sound from Trey Anastasio’s solo work. His most recent release, Shine, sounds just like every other man with a heartfelt message and a guitar. If it wasn’t for his time spent in Phish, Trey Anastasio would simply be another unknown artist, and for good reason.

Though his work isn’t painful to listen to, there is simply no reason to listen to it. Nothing about Anastasio’s music is distinctive or original. For someone with such a strong musical background, his shortcomings are dramatic.

After 20 years of playing with Phish’s unique sound, it’s extremely disappointing to hear Anastasio’s solo work is mainstream one-man pop. His music doesn’t challenge any preconceived musical theories, nor is it beneficial to the future of the music industry.

“And when the day’s come and gone,” Anastasio sings the song “Shine” as if putting a small child to sleep, “you know we all ride on, and the light shines on.” The upward-looking lyrics match the tone of the music in a flowing way, but don’t expect a catchy chorus.

If you like the song “Shine,” don’t expect to like the entire album. It’s not that the rest of the album sounds different. In fact, it’s that the entire album sounds exactly the same. The album flows so well that one song is nearly indistinguishable from the next.

I must admit, however, that it is nice to hear lyrics that aren’t complaining about something, and Anastasio seems to have hope for the world and the future. The song, “Love is Freedom,” still lingers with heartache: “This pain I would not have known, had you not arrived,” but the majority of the album looks forward to a better life.

Trey Anastasio’s music is not terrible; there’s just nothing about it that makes it notable. If you’re looking for well-produced generic music that is indistinguishable from all other music in the genre, Trey’s your man.

Contact ALL correspondent Britten Stark at [email protected].