Home Read Classic Album Review: Phantom Planet | The Guest

Classic Album Review: Phantom Planet | The Guest

The retro-popsters might might be more famous for their lineup than their music.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Like Keanu ReevesDogstar, retro-popsters Phantom Planet are more famous for who plays in them than what they play.

Rushmore star Jason Schwartzman is the drummer; singer Alex Greenwald is a Gap model; bassist Sam Farrar’s dad wrote songs for Grease. With their second album The Guest, the boys are out to prove there’s more to them than their resumes. And the first track, California, makes a good case. Outfitted with gently flowing verses, a grandly crashing chorus, layers of harmonies and a recycled hook — “California, here we come / Right back where we started from” — this bittersweet homage to the sunny sound of the ’70s is a perfect gem of pop. Pity the other 11 tunes here don’t even come close. Oh, they’re enjoyable enough — kinda like Sloan, but with more pop and less power. Even so, The Guest is a CD with one great track and a bunch of filler. But take heart, guys: One great track still puts you ahead of Dogstar.