The Guest

Phantom Planet's sophomore album neither broaches any pressing world issues nor copes with any particularly heavy emotional experiences, but what it does is present 12 tracks of fun, lighthearted rock

Phantom Planet's sophomore album neither broaches any pressing world issues nor copes with any particularly heavy emotional experiences, but what it does is present 12 tracks of fun, lighthearted rock tunes that are each instantly hummable. The project kicks off with "California," a track that could become a road-trip classic, and continues with such pop-leaning gems as "One Ray of Sunlight," which describes an almost bittersweet, last grasp at love, and "Anthem," a tune that will likely appeal to prospective songwriters in search of that just-right lyric. "Turn Smile Shift Repeat" is perhaps too dark with its "corporate business is evil" mantra, but its amazing catchiness overpowers any seriousness. With The Guest, Phantom Planet—Jacques Brautbar and Darren Robinson (guitarists), Sam Farrar (bassist), Alex Greenwald (vocalist), and Jason Schwartzman (drummer and star of the film Rushmore)—has crafted one carefree escape.—JP