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Page McConnell

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 17, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Although Page McConnell didn't write many songs during his nearly 20-year tenure with Phish, his first solo album showcases nine Page-penned, unflinchingly personal tunes that document his post-Phish struggles and recent divorce. It's a toss-up which event was more painful, but it's his efforts to fashion a new paradigm for both his music and his love life that provide this disc with its dramatic tension and disarming fragility. While "Runaway Bride," and "Beauty of a Broken Heart" are like scars that still fester, "Maid Marian," a romantic "note to self" about what to avoid next time love comes calling, seems to reveal more about McConnell's state of mind, and is stronger because of it. A much funkier album than his two Vida Blue efforts, with more sophisticated vocals, McConnell no longer seems so determined to distance himself from his high profile past. He not only invites former band mates Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, and Jon Fishman to guest, he allows himself the freedom jam as in days of yore. Having said that, these jams are more reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band's anxious jazz interludes than the mind-altering science experiments that Phish was known for. --Jaan Uhelszki
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • ASIN: B000NJISGQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,550 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Delite Rancher VINE VOICE on April 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Page McConnell's new album is what you'd expect. The song writing is mediocre while the improvisation is strong. Most songs sound like they could have been penned during the Vida Blue era or the last five years of Phish. In other words, there is no 'Cars Trucks Buses' or even a 'Most Events Aren't Planned.' The album follows McConnell's usual style of rock with flavors of funk and psychedelia. The use of electronic drum beats may be the unexpected dynamic. The issue with "Page McConnell" is that it is a solo album by a great accompanying musician. There's nothing wrong with the disc, it's simply that there are no significant stand-outs. "Page McConnell" is an enjoyable listen that probably won't get heavy rotation.
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Format: Audio CD
I personally enjoy this album a lot. But do not listen to this album hoping to hear a authentic phish sound because you won't. It's a very "Page" sounding album. But as anyone who is probably buying this album knows, music by an artist like Page McConnell can't be appreciated at less in the live format. I personally own SIRIUS radio and caught his live performances on air. I am really psyched to catch him this summer. The highlight on the album for me is "Heavy Rotation". I recommend giving it a listen, it's worth it.
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By RP on May 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This CD showcases Page's talent, creativity and musicianship in a way that reminds me why I loved listening to him play in Phish so much.

The songs are tight while still conveying an improvisational, jammy feel that works well. Page's piano playing is the highlight for me. On some tracks, he adds synthesizer and other fun instruments (including "toy piano") for cool, sound-enhancing effects. The lyrics are decent enough: heartfelt without being (overly) cheesy. The instrumental, improvisational reunion jam, "Back in the Basement", is a great mid-album highlight.

Despite a solid effort, there are a few weak tracks here. The album fades towards the end and I get slightly tired of Page's voice for a full album (perhaps a duet or two would have been nice).

Overall, this is a worthwhile buy and a nice branch-out addition to my CD collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Chances are, you already know if you're going to like the debut solo CD by former Phish keyboardist Page McConnell. You're either one of the legion of the Phish faithful, or a non-believer who runs screaming "Go away, hippie!", like Eric Cartman, at the mere mention of the band's name. This dichotomy is what all members of cult bands face, no matter how big the cult. And McConnell's tuneful but unassuming self-titled disc is unlikely to change the opinion of the Phish phobic. Maybe it doesn't have to. When you've earned a cult as rabid and large as Phish did, why not play to it, after all?

But before you click away from this review and start shouting Cartman-isms, let's scroll back 20 years and recall why Phish's upstream swim of a career trajectory altered the course of popular music. Back in the waning days of the Reagan era, most people's favored popular music came from artists on MTV that seemed like genetically engineered experiments in commerciality. The club scene, on the other hand, was filled with brash post-punk bands playing to almost no one.

Phish transcended this musical Great Divide and helped to create the jam band scene. Like a lot of 1980s college kids, they sat around in their dorm rooms feeling disaffected and wondered why music didn't sound as cool as it did when the Seeds scaled the charts. But unlike those `80s kids, they eschewed both punk and preppie trendiness and made music their own way. Sure, the Grateful Dead's unexpected surge of popularity in the late `80s helped their cause, but when has serendipity not been a factor in a success story?

That history is all implicit in McConnell's CD. The songs may be slight, but the playing and the players sure aren't.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Page's latest album is just a joy to listen to. Though a bit of a departure from his Phish days, there are still plenty of familiar riffs and licks from days gone by. Presumably because he had some help from his Phish friends. There are moments of brief electronica throughout the album and usually I would be turned off by these, but somehow they work well. Buy it, play it, love it. Long live Page!
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