This album is even harder to describe than most...simply, you must hear it! Not being familiar with anything other than his work with Brian Wilson, I can only say that Van Dyke Parks on THIS album delivered an amazing, exotic sonic experience. It's hard to peg the album down, a blend of beuatiful steel drums, real funky grooves, delirious string and horn arrangements, wild but never-intrusive-always-subtle production, great melodies delivered by what sounds to be a very amused and havin'-a-whole-lotta-fun Van Dyke Parks with three great back up female singers...it's like Van Dyke is your host for the album(and the singers flank his shoulders!) if that makes any sense! The whole thing is linked thematically in the lyrics (and music) through Trinadad and American history, culture and relationships with the rest of the world-not to mention just plain ole dancing and partying(there's a great cover of Lee Dorsey's Occapella and Lowell George's Sailing Shoes for a start) It all makes for a very distinct, kind of quirky, fun listening experience and though it may not be for everyone, there certainly is no other record like this in your collection! GAURANTEED!