Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Phantom Planet 

Sunday, November 2; the Gargoyle at Washington University

Two albums into their musical career, the members of Phantom Planet got their braces off. With a little help from their orthodontists, producers extraordinaire Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake, the band crafted a gleaming smile of an album. The Guest positively beams Southern Californian pop. It's a little too straight and a little too perfect -- but, damn, it sure is purdy.

Since revealing their new set of pearly whites, the kids in Phantom Planet have made a living surfing the crest of the power pop wave. At times they slip dangerously close to emo angst, but they always manage to reclaim their footing with enough assurance to leave up-and-coming soundalikes such as Rooney and Ben Kweller treading towards the nearest buoy. Princes of power pop they may very well be: in sound, in record sales and in lineage.

Lineage? In a band with three (3) guitarists, it shouldn't matter that the guy from Rushmore (Jason Schwartzman) is the drummer or that the guy from those hot 1999 Gap ads (Alex Greenwald) is the lead vocalist. But it does. Their star power, and the accompanying negative attention, is the only thing weighing down their sunny-day sound.

Still, it's a notable accomplishment to pen the best song called "California" since Joni Mitchell. But perhaps it is an even greater feat to make lyrics that are unbelievably cheesy ("If I had one ray of sunlight to hold in my hand/Maybe we could be happy again") not only likeable, but belt-out-able. One can only hope that their show at the Gargoyle doesn't turn into a Tiger Beat singalong with Schwartzman, Greenwald and a gaggle of prepubescent girls.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Critics' Picks

More by Jess Minnen

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation