Glen Phillips shares thoughtful new album, Chicago solo show

  • Glen Phillips shares his new solo album, "There Is So Much Here," and more at City Winery Thursday, Nov. 17.

    Glen Phillips shares his new solo album, "There Is So Much Here," and more at City Winery Thursday, Nov. 17. Courtesy of Chris Orwig

  • "There Is So Much Here," the new release by Glen Phillips

    "There Is So Much Here," the new release by Glen Phillips Courtesy of Compass Records

  • Glen Phillips returns to contemplative love songs and gratitude with his newest release, "There Is So Much Here."

    Glen Phillips returns to contemplative love songs and gratitude with his newest release, "There Is So Much Here." Courtesy of Chris Orwig

 
 
Posted11/10/2022 6:00 AM

"There Is So Much Here" by Glen Phillips (Compass Records)

The son of a physicist, Glen Phillips has always been a cerebral singer-songwriter, and his new solo album is a thoughtful, tuneful collection of contemplations on life's simple charms.

 

"There Is So Much Here" considers the pleasure derived from a glass of water, the value of being OK with being just OK, and the elusive sweet spot between the past and future. "Find the beauty in the things you see," Phillips sings on "Call the Moondust," a spiritual of sorts that says life is accompanied by the song of God.

The frontman for Toad the Wet Sprocket, Phillips shares his musings via piano ballads and bouncy, retro guitar pop. Highlights include "I Was a Riot," built on a hummable bass line, and "Big Changes," notable for a roller-coaster melody before Phillips extols the value of taking a break, which playfully cues a wordless interlude. He's in fine voice throughout, and "The Bluest Eye" evokes the dramatic sonorities of Rufus Wainwright as the arrangement slowly blossoms.

While the album's title sounds like a celebration, Phillips acknowledges how elusive contentment can be. "A new day is here," he sings, somehow sounding wary. Smart guy.

• • •

Glen Phillips

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17

Where: City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago; citywinery.com

Tickets: $25-$35

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