Thanks to producer Steve Lillywhite, Phish finally delivered a concise pop album with Billy Breathes. Lillywhite had the band cut away their jams and accentuate their songwriting, resulting in a series of tightly written, melodic folk-rock and psychedelic pop songs. Phish still delve into the deeper waters with sweeping songs like "Theme from the Bottom," but what truly impresses about Billy Breathes is the group's seamless eclecticism and how they master all varieties of roots rock and psychedelic styles. With the shorter songs, their musical depth and breadth is all the more apparent and impressive, making Billy Breathes the definitive Phish album the band has always strived to deliver.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine