This is a difficult album to listen to if you're not familiar with Michael Nesmith beyond his days with The Monkees. Conceived as the soundtrack to a short story authored by Mike in the album's liner notes, Mike Nesmith reaches beyond where any pop-country artist would dare go in the use of synthesizers to create the infinate wall of sound quality of symphonic orchestras combining with the close-range intimacy of a guitarist. The whole point of the album is to listen at the same time as reading the story, a fusion of senses that Mike readily admits in the notes to the 1990s reissue is anything but an easy task to accomplish.
But story or not, it is the sheer atmosphere and grooves of the music that captures the listener and compels him to stay through every last note. Mike uses synthesizers with such cunning smartness it is a wonder the tactic has not been used, or used well, since. It is the second track, Dance Between The Raindrops, that really establishes the mezmerizing mood of the album; as the most openly country-esque track, it makes the best use of Red Rhodes' pedal steel in the instrumental portion of the song's body, while a nice soft rock groove is hit in Elusive Ragings before downshifting to a mildly religious groove and the return of Red Rhodes in Waking Mystery, then a slow cowboy groove in Hear Me Calling, all tracks that serve as a strong message to the melancholy to overcome fears and get going.
The somewhat overblown Marie's Theme gets off to a strong start and might have been the best track on the album, except it suffers from a fade that is several minutes too long as well as repeated vocals that begin grating on the listener. A similar flaw hurts the ending of the album's closer, Lampost, hurting what is otherwise the album's most soaring track; the synthesizers simulate orchestral strings throughout and interplay with Mike's guitar groove perfectly, fading out during the lengthy outro down to Mike's guitar riff that finally begins to die down but takes an excruciatingly long time to finally complete itself. A few judicious edits should have been called for here, but such are nits to pick on Mike's most artistically ambitious project ever.