Spirit Phone Review/Analysis

Would come up with some kind of catchy series title but I don’t see myself doing many album reviews haha. A lot of this was in response to seeing reviews that said Spirit Phone didn’t have a lot connecting the songs which was the opposite of how I read it. Some of the stuff I reference I found out was connected to the songs over the past two years in like YouTube comments sections or GENIUS or whatever and some of it has been connections I made myself so I don’t really have research links. Some of the lyrics weren’t what I had heard/expected but I got them off of the official bandcamp so shrug.

Here’s that cool fanvid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAG7pye0V1g

Forgot to credit it but the Creepy Doll imagery is from the official music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgfklKnOg4w

Link to buy https://needlejuicerecords.com
Bandcamp with lyrics and where you can buy/stream it digitally https://lemondemon.bandcamp.com/album/spirit-phone


Help us caption & translate this video!




  1. My personal favorite track on the album is honestly the first one lifetime achievement award. I’m typically more interested in sheer music then lyricism. and the instrumental and vocals make a hell of a powerful track, the track for example uses E minor to create a feel something evil is going one, and the song doesn’t really leave Em, it sticks with its self even in the stuff that doesn’t even have the dissonance you’d expect from minor, for example the male chorus woah part, witch sounds right happy is still in E minor, but I’m more of a rhythm and tone guy them harmony, (I mean I listen to primus of course I am) the way all the leads, harmony’s, vocals and bass work together rhythmically is also really nice in such a way to where any part can easily get stuck in your head. The infliction of the vocals are great with Dynamic and show the emotion of the track well. The first chorus is a form of gitty nature the second is energetic but in in a way to where they are making the audience disturb by it, The last one is just a highly powerful energetic “punch you In the face” feels is really just hyper energetic final lap. (sorry if my analogies aren’t the best, I’m not the best at them, hopefully you get what I mean, also sorry for grammar my school failed me, not the way it fails everyone but in a different way that fucked me up going forward and I could explain why, but to shorten things a second grade teacher was so lazy that instead of actually teaching she just told us the info with explaination, and when I as someone on the autistic spectrum had abit of trouble with it, because she explained nothing and bulldozed through everything, she campaigned to get me in a bad special ed program that was just doing nothing, based on my autism, [witch is bullshit because I was one of the best students is all the classes that are special ed, passing with straight As] and she got it through because the system was very ignorant of mental illness and they put me in causing me not to learn proper English till the 8th fucking grade, that was longer then I expected, sorry) in short first track=best track and I gotta fix my word vomit issue

  2. Thank you so much for this – i've wondered about the meaning of a few of these songs, and its really cool you went so much into depth with them.

    I'm so happy other people like this record as much as i do! Great video o/

  3. I litterally clicked on this video beacause i liked the title and thumbnail and then at the end of the video when she brought up the tweet i realized it was Scanlines own Shannon Struchi no wonder this was so well made!

  4. Really great review and analysis! Just wanted to share a thought of my own regarding Sweet Bod: I think one of the reasons Neil made it to sound like a sexy song while repeatedly saying "it's nothing sexual" is because companies who do this (sell miracle cures that may just kill you faster) are fucking over desperate people. It may not be sexual, but they're definitely getting off on it.

  5. I like to believe the Cabinet Man kills/injures the vandal as opposed to vice versa. The immediate followup to "Now they see my blood on their sneakers" is the chorus, which explicitly says, "You can't win me, I can't be beat/ I won't hurt you unless you cheat." Vandalising an arcade cabinet for pocket change could be considered 'cheating' with the right frame of mind.

  6. I know im late but the sweet bod song was actually based on a monk tradition where they ate honey so they could mummify themselves. Years later people would take pieces of the mummy and sell as candy/medicine. Loved the video.

  7. I personally believe that You're At The Party is about a person who is stuck is stuck in the afterlife. "A place you've seen before you were you born." "You want to cover up your eyes, but they're already shut so tight." "Eyes shut tight, never open up." "The sun's not rising and the birds are dead."

  8. I remember first hearing this album (cabinet man specifically) and getting anxious in a way I’ve never experienced before. It’s like a panic attack was coming but it never came. I’ve listened to this album constantly out of respect for being able to make me feel something like that even though I don’t feel that way anymore when I hear the songs.
    Then you showed me “You’re At the Party”
    I’m feeling something again.

  9. This deserves a lot more likes it's a really good and detailed review that delves deep into the tracks, I really appreciate the extra info and insight about the inspirations behind the songs

  10. I love When He Died because it's not a "humane twist on a horror trope" like many of the other songs, it's so unabashedly horror-infused that as every verse piles on more crazy aftermaths it becomes ridiculous. Like it almost loses all horror it could have because it keeps going and adding more.

  11. Hell yes. Hard agree on "You're At The Party" being the best and scariest song on the double album. My favorite line is "You want to cover up your eyes / But they're already shut so tight" Gives me chills.

  12. I've seen people say they feel like I Earn My Life, As Your Father, and Reganomics are odd for the more Cryptid/Eldrich horror feeling of the rest of the album, but I feel like it's a different kinda horror. Horror of real life- of neurotic obsession with earning your keep and the constant pressure of being a cog in the machine- of having a father ridiculing your interests and accusing you of ridiculous shit with no proof- of a single person destroying the hopeful future of tens of thousands of children.

  13. Sometimes its statisfying enough for me to like something and to be able to say I like because I "simply like it", but there are occasions such as Neil's music where I'll love it even more when its explained to me why I love it so much, and why it's so good. Thank you for this video

  14. Woah!!! I've been listening to this album again every day in the car ever since I got my copy on CD in the mail. What an amazing album.

    I watched anthony fantano's review of the album (even though I've never really watched fantano) just because I needed more spirit phone in my life. and now I find out months too late that strucci has a video essay / analysis on the album?? I cannot express the excitement I felt when I saw this thumbnail on my break at work.

    I know a couple in real life – two of my best friends – who listen to the album almost as much as I do. it made me so happy to know that they enjoyed this piece of niche art by one of my online role models, and that we could all enjoy it in each others' company. having just finished your video, I'm getting that same sort of feeling all over again :'D

  15. I've loved this album to death since it came out, but have admittedly never given the bonus tracks the time of day. Your analysis of them, in particular 'You're at the Party', has definitely gotten me to reconsider that decision. I too picked up the vinyl as well as the CD, but haven't gotten the chance to listen to either yet, so I'm looking even more forward to it now thanks to this wonderful video.

  16. I think Neil has enough shit out there to do a month on only his work. Not all of it is genius (I prefer his music more than anything else he's made), but all of it is very clearly an invention of the heart, and that's hard to come by these days. I would love it if you made a video on the mouth albums, even if it is a little overdone, and some of the previous LD projects such as View-Monster or Dinosaurchestra. Loved the video.

  17. I don't know if anyone's said, but Neil replied to a comment on the Soft Fuzzy Man upload saying that the song is supposed to be an allusion to weird guys who think acting mysterious is attractive

  18. Personally I think that Lifetime Achievement Award is an allegory to Neil himself. Its about Lemon Demon being "brought back to life" to release a new album. The line "You've been gone for way too long, like half a year. An entire career for some." points to the fact that, as an internet person, he has been in the limelight despote not making a true album for 12 years

  19. This is a great video, I didn't even notice the mongoose identity behind "Eighth Wonder".
    "When He Died" was a fantastic song imo, maybe I liked it more because I completely forgot Jonathan Coulton existed. Even if you do compare them though, When He Died's focus on the leftover impact on other people's lives is way more impactful than the surface level creepy of Coulton's Doll, and the music is way better (imo)

  20. spirit phone is one of my favorite albums what with the supernatural elements, retro vibe, and catchiness of the music. i dont really have a favorite song and i find it difficult to even pick a top 5 because i love this album so much! one thing i didnt notice was the anti-capitalist stuff outside of reganomics so itll be cool to listen to it with that perspective

  21. I take issue with the statement of Sweet Bod Man being perverted, he expresses multiple times that 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔𝒏'𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒙𝒖𝒂𝒍 (it isn't sexual.)

    And quite frankly I believe him.

    It's strictly confectional

  22. Neil isn't a particularly political person and I really don't see a lot of economic analysis in most of the songs you claimed contained criticism of "capitalism"Some of them are arguably written with something like that in mind but for a lot of that segment of the video, I really think you were reaching.

  23. I personally interpreted I Earn My Life as a man who hated his job but was dedicated to his family. After a while he gets fed up with it and works himself to the bone to give them a solid bit of wealth before climbing onto a ladder and jumping believing he’s earned his life and can now do what he wants with it, in this case being ending it. Cool video.

  24. Austin from NJR here. I kept seeing this in my recommendations, wonder why… thanks for the LP plug.
    This is a truly incredible and thorough evaluation of a truly incredible and thorough record. You pointed out thematic stuff that I didn't notice despite having heard this album 500 times at this point for the remastering process. Well done.


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