• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Jan 27, 2015
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
Buy On
  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 14, 2016
    80
    At times the music feels more like a classical arrangement than a bluegrass record--but it works.
  4. Feb 6, 2015
    80
    The music here is unique and exciting, even if the band appeals largely to music nerds and have to struggle outside of that demographic to find an audience.
  5. 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.
  6. Jan 27, 2015
    80
    This is yet another great Punch Brothers album.
  7. Jul 1, 2015
    70
    Elegant and nimble songs that are intricate in their beauty and restless in their heartbreak.
  8. Uncut
    Feb 3, 2015
    70
    An album of fierce ambition and undeniable charm. [Mar 2015, p.80]
  9. Jan 27, 2015
    60
    It makes for an intriguing, though at times overcomplex and unfocused, blend.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  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.
    Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  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. Full Review »