Phantom Planet

Phantom Planet

The Guest

Epic / Sony

Wow! This is a really awesome record. The songs here are huge and immense chunks of pop rock; imagine if The Beach Boys were an indie rock band today, flirting with emo sensibilities, and trying to play Beatles-style songs… you’d have a pretty decent idea of what Phantom Planet sounds like. It’s truly difficult to say anything but good things about The Guest.

The first song is a simple little tune about California, and it sets the tone for the record quite accurately; the guitars are jangly, the drums at a nice level in the mix, and the vocalist (Sam?) has one of the nicest, warm sounding voices in recent memory. He reminds me of an American Jarvis Cocker, of sorts. The rest of the album glides through updated 1960s pop music styles in a clear and concise manner, enough to make Oasis jealous.

Most people will have inadvertently heard of Phantom Planet because the drummer here is Jason Schwartzman, the dorky looking kid from the wonderful film Rushmore and the somewhat funny Slackers. Regardless of that, the band actually does a pretty decent job of not being just a gimmick (don’t Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon, and Keanu Reeves all have bands… that are terrible?). It wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit to hear any of the songs from The Guest on the radio; the songs are pristinely recorded, sweetly phrased, and are all very well done. This is a very high quality piece of pop music, definitely worth a listen.

Epic Records: http://www.epicrecords.com

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