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The Phosphorescent Blues Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the progressive bluegrass band was produced by T Bone Burnett.
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Top Track

I Blew It Off
The sun hits the back of my neck Through a crack in the windowshade I blow it off, I blow it off 'Cause I keep outside In the ears and eyes Of... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Magnet
    Feb 20, 2015
    90
    The richest, smartest, warmest work they've ever done. [No. 117, p.61]
  2. Jan 27, 2015
    88
    Like every Punch Brothers album, The Phosphorescent Blues is defined by technical chops. But its lyrical focus offers a vibrant edge over its predecessors.
  3. Jan 27, 2015
    80
    This is yet another great Punch Brothers album.
  4. Jan 27, 2015
    80
    The Punch Brothers sound as comfortable nimbly skipping through classical pieces as they do creating oddly shaped bluegrass-prog--and as they do creating sparkling pop miniatures like "Magnet" and "Between 1st and A." By both capturing and fusing these two sides, The Phosphorescent Blues stands as a defining record for an admittedly restless band.
  5. Jan 14, 2016
    80
    At times the music feels more like a classical arrangement than a bluegrass record--but it works.
  6. Jul 1, 2015
    70
    Elegant and nimble songs that are intricate in their beauty and restless in their heartbreak.
  7. Jan 27, 2015
    60
    It makes for an intriguing, though at times overcomplex and unfocused, blend.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Apr 3, 2015
    10
    I've been listening to Chris Thile since his Nickel Creek Days. I loved his solo and early work as the Punch Brothers and was excited to hearI've been listening to Chris Thile since his Nickel Creek Days. I loved his solo and early work as the Punch Brothers and was excited to hear that Punch Brothers would be touring in my area for their new album.

    They offered a free digital copy of Phosphorescent Blues with the ticket purchase. Upon listening, I found it appealing. There was a slight recognition in me that this was incredible work, but with my life being so busy, I thought the album was mostly really beautiful background music as I tried to fit in listens with competing desires for other genres.

    The evening of the concert arrived, and I'm afraid I won't be able to do the performance justice. All I'll say is that I left in awe at the seeming effortlessness and joy in which all of this came together live. Seeing the sounds sound the same, better even!, than on the album, was amazing to witness. As a modest musician myself, it was incredibly inspiring to see the five musicians keeping the music alive.

    Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin/drums), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Kowert (bass) were not only the members of Punch Brothers, but amazing musicians to hear and watch. It was such a completely satisfying and uplifting concert. I've been listening to the album, now, with newfound vision, understanding, and, dare I say it, love for the songs. I'm so excited to hear what happens next and see them live whenever I am able.
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  2. Jan 28, 2015
    9
    I've only given this record a few spins so far but its already very clear that this is a great record. Its smart and challenging at times butI've only given this record a few spins so far but its already very clear that this is a great record. Its smart and challenging at times but also very accessible and catchy at other moments.

    "Familiarity" starts the record with a real master-piece and the fan collaboration "Little lights" is a perfect climactic ending to the record. In between you can find quite a few gems and especially Thile's vocals are top notch as usual. "Julep", "My oh my" and "Forgotten" are currently my favorites but this is one of those records where every time you listen to it you will discover a new favorite.
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  3. Feb 10, 2015
    9
    There's no mistaking the sophisti-grass sound of the Punch Brothers, but The Phosphorescent Blues continues their trend of reeling in some ofThere's no mistaking the sophisti-grass sound of the Punch Brothers, but The Phosphorescent Blues continues their trend of reeling in some of that obscene convolutedness. T-Bone Burnett, a master of production and the popular side of all things country and folk, continues to tame Thile and Co.'s obsession with an oblique complexity. That is a boon and a bane. The accessibility is much welcomed, and the band sounds as tight as ever. The production has taken a step up, and the percussion is a welcome addition. The pop-leanings of the album are extremely strong, and the forays into classical music welcome and wonderful interludes, and generally this album professed great depth, incredible construction and impeccable musicianship. But you can't help but miss some of the Punch Brothers crazier moments from the previous albums; they are almost entirely absent here. That said, I'll trade those moments for a thoroughly even and commendable performance with the Phosphorescent Blues. Expand
  4. Mar 26, 2015
    8
    Although ''The Phosphorescent Blues'' is not as well structured, or accessible how the two works that preceded it, Punch Brothers show us thatAlthough ''The Phosphorescent Blues'' is not as well structured, or accessible how the two works that preceded it, Punch Brothers show us that they still have breath, as we might expect, we have a worthy musical work, with a clear improvement in production, and an instrumental to leave any fan of the genre in knees, even if you can not say the same of his lyrics, yet, they do not matter much when the sound is most of the time, mental. Expand