Year 2, Day 19: Phantom Planet Raises the Dead!

Year 2, Album 19: Phantom Planet – Raise The Dead

Tracklisting

  1. Raise the Dead
  2. Dropped
  3. Leader
  4. Do The Panic
  5. Quarantine
  6. Ship Lost at Sea
  7. Demon Daughters
  8. Geronimo
  9. Too Much Too Often
  10. Confess
  11. Leave Yourself for Someone Else
  12. I Don’t Mind

About the Album

Raise the Dead is the fourth studio album from alternative rock band, Phantom Planet. The album features several “reworked” versions of songs that appeared on various productions by the band. The album was released April 15, 2008.

Thoughts on the Album

First off, I still suck at counting days. Second, this isn’t the Phantom Planet album that features their most popular and well known song, California. If you want that one… leave a comment in the comment section and I’ll think about it for next year’s 40 in 40.

Okay now that that little disclaimer is out of the way, lets talk about this album shall we? Raise the Dead is a pretty cool and neat little album. It’s not that bad, considering it peaked at number 119 on the Billboard 200 in 2008. Alex Greenwald, lead vocalist and guitarist did research on cults, their leaders, and the music that their cults produced. Don’t let that dissuade you from this album though.

The album opens with the catchy acoustic jam and title track, Raise the Dead. The band shows remarkable control of pace and tempo of the track, dictated by how the song moves from brisk acoustic guitars to a huge swell of strings and guitars.

The following track, Dropped, is a real sexy toe-tapping number, which is lead by the dueling guitars of frontman Alex Greenwald and Darren Robinson. The track is rounded out nicely by hand claps.

Track number three, Leader, is one of the best songs from the album. Showcasing some excellent lyrics and a charming children’s choir, this is a catchy song. That’s right, the song is complete with a full children’s choir. The song also features some good needling guitars and a lively rhythm section.

My favorite track, Do the Panic, I remember from one EA Sports’ NHL games (NHL 09 I think). Do the Panic was reworked from an original version that was only available through their fanclub. The track seemingly flows like a song in the vein of The Strokes with subdued verses and frantic choruses. The track also features some rough and tumble keyboards and guitars riffs. Short version: you will be singing along to the song. It’s infectious, riotous, and other synonyms for “catchy”.

Mini-highlights: Quarantine is a haunting and edgy number. Demon Daughters is another chilling track, featuring a pre-chorus that is absolutely chilling and leads into a more explosive chorus, with frontman Alex Greenwald leading the charge (or exorcism, if you will). Final thoughts on the album: track Too Much Too Often will take you for a spin on the dance floor, and finally, I Don’t Mind calmly closes the album out.

Conclusion

This album is good one. It has everything you would want: songs to sing along to, toe-tapping and hand-clapping numbers, and an anthem (Do the Panic). The production on the album is excellent, as well as the instrumentation. It’s nearly flawless, sans a few songs. Raise the Dead has plenty of variety: from catchy to chill to everything in between, it covers all the tempos. It’s definitely the band’s best work to date. My advice? Give this album a try… just don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

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