Listening to this album for the first time is like walking blindfold: you don't know what you're going to bump into next. There isn't enough space on the average album to contain all of Kevin Ayers's ideas and this is no exception. The conventional, the weird, the dark and the beautiful all appear and it seems effortless.
'There Is Loving' makes great use of orchestral musicians, scaling the highest peaks and diving into the deepest troughs. 'Margaret' and 'Lullaby' are gentle and sublime, featuring strong melodies and honeyed textures. 'Oh My' and 'Champagne Cowboy Blues' are more music hall and vaudeville, not to everyone's taste but entirely valid and an essential representation of one side of Ayers's personality. You have to embrace his character in full to appreciate him. 'Song From A Bottom Of A Well' appeases the avant garde fans, a brilliantly-executed slice of the macabre. The title track is a lovingly-crafted gentle blues with a Mike Oldfield guitar solo of pure gold and 'Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes', the most commercial track, is a cool and unforgettable dose of mischief.
Even the bonus tracks shape up, all of them reflecting Ayers's droll side. 'Whatevershebringswesing' is, along with 'Joy Of A Toy', one of Ayers's classic contributions to music. It's a shame most people haven't even heard of him.