It feels like forever since Phantom Planet was relevant, and by all accounts, it has been. The band disappeared after 2004's underwhelming self-titled album, but miraculously, they've made a substantial comeback this year, first surprisingly signing to Fueled By Ramen, and then announcing a joint tour with the likes of Panic At The Disco and Motion City Soundtrack, all leading up to today's release of Raise the Dead. If it seems like a calculated effort to win back the fanbase that the band achieved with "California", the indelible theme song from The O.C., it may very well be. Having heard the album, though, let's push all marketing efforts to the wayside, because the resulting work is actually way more than half-decent. There's something for everything to like, as it feels like the logical midway point the band skipped between 2002's Costelloesque The Guest and the forced garage rock album that followed it up two years later. It doesn't feel contrived; rather, it's a natural collection that finds the band comfortably playing their brand of jagged pop while avoiding the temptation to jump on any particular trend.
You can hear the entire record over at Phantom Planet's Myspace, where it's currently up for streaming.
Now if only Jason Schwartzman would rejoin the band...