I've been a fan of Van Dyke Parks since "Song Cycle." It's hard to get people to like his music, though, because his voice is considered irritating by most people. About the first 20 times I heard it, I hated it too. But I had a friend who was really into it, and he kept playing the damned thing. Finally, I started to get it, with "Donovan's Colours." I then gradually came to like the other songs, and now it's one of my all-time favorite albums.
"Moonlighting" is a concert -- man would I like to go to a Van Dyke Parks conert!! -- his voice sounds much, much better in concert than it does in studio recordings. This is a very playful, pretty performance.
I guess VDP is known for his lush, complicated arrangements -- he loves his violins, and many of his orchestrations feature a harp (kind of a neglected instrument). Of course the other thing he's known for is his collaboration with Brian Wilson, which resulted in an album, and ultimately came to a bad end before "Smile" could be produced. He wrote the words to "Heroes and Villains" -- those lyrics are characteristic of his style of writing words, I think.
If you want to try out Van Dyke Parks, I don't think there's a better way to do it than "Moonlighting." This is a very entertaining collection of songs, beautifully orchestrated, and sung really quite pleasantly by the man himself.