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Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
Price: £9.94

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer bliss, 2 April 2005
This is an album unlike any other. With no technical trickery involved, it is a haunting testament to the power and diversity of the human voice. If you've gotten as far as reading this review, just buy this now.

Song Cycle
Song Cycle
Offered by themusicmerchant
Price: £25.94

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Run of the Mill Garden Variety Musical Fare, 3 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Song Cycle (Audio CD)
It took me many listens before I cracked this album. As with (surely) most other listeners, I first heard the name Van Dyke Parks in connection with the Beach Boys 'Smile' era recordings. Even the most complex of those did little to prepare me for the density of this album. But what at first seems impenetrable is in fact peppered with ways in: hook lines here and there which make repeated listenings increasingly rewarding. 'The All Golden' emerges as insanely uplifting, though on first
hearing(s) just plain odd; 'Donovans Colours' is recognisable for about three bars. Lyrically we are also closer to Finnegan's Wake than 'Help Me, Rhonda' but it is the enduring genuine weirdness of this album that makes it so compelling.
How Parks ever worked again given the amount this must have cost to record and the amount it probably recouped is a mystery all of it's own. Enjoy the sound of one man's eccentric musical vision presented in glorious Technicolour.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2013 1:20 PM BST

Clang Of The Yankee Reaper
Clang Of The Yankee Reaper
Offered by stevecaptainkirk
Price: £6.15

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eclectic Jambolaya, 3 Nov. 2004
If I were a gambling man, I would bet any sum that your interest in this album can be traced back to the Beach Boys and Smile. If it's more of the same you are after, I refer you to Parks' 1968 album 'Song Cycle'.
This album is very different. The opener and title track does inhabit that same bombastic, Spector-esque domain and is as fine as anything Wilson ever produced.
It's something of a false start, however, being the only track actually credited to Van Dyke Parks himself. The rest of the album comprises cover versions of Caribbean songs, in particular, those from Trinidad. These are arranged and played with near-insane gusto, making the music infectiously uplifiting. I'm not previously familiar with the songs involved but the final (radical!) reworking of Pachelbel's Canon takes such ludicrous liberties with the source material that I would imagine these are not necessarily faithful archival renderings!
In all, music that will bring a Smile to your face!

Happy Sad
Happy Sad
Price: £7.98

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie excellence, 3 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Happy Sad (Audio CD)
This album completely blew me away! "Strange Feelin" opens with some suitably queasy atonal chimes on the vibraphone and even before Buckley's first vocal line you know that this is music that's going to take you to a different place.
The first two tracks are jaunty enough but the mood intensifies with the astonishing "Love From Room 109", which contains enough melodies and ideas to fill an entire album alone. Even this jewel is then surpassed by the haunting "Dream Letter", which reaches levels of purity that most popular music doesn't even know exists.
"Gipsy Woman" is undoubtedly the weakest piece here - somehow, it just feels undercooked - but even an under par Buckley can't help but astonish with the agility of his voice. "Sing A Song For You" closes on a suitably wistful note, including the line "just too young to know any more" - an ironic statement, given the maturity displayed in the singing throughout the album.
Buy this album. If it fails to move you in any way, you probably have no pulse.


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sailing Into Obscurity, 20 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Starsailor (Audio CD)
As most people will not have heard this album it can be very irritating to read a smug review by someone who has.If you're reading this, however, the chances are you are either a Tim Buckley fan already or are looking for information on the group 'Starsailor'.Can't help those in the second category but for any devotees of Buckley not lucky enough to own a copy of this album, I can only hope that it does receive another pressing because it is simply too good to remain an unheard obscure footnote.
'Starsailor' takes the experimentation of 'Lorca' - particularly that album's title track - to it's logical conclusion.The spikey rhythms and intense vocal gymnastics make for sometimes disturbing listening and as a standalone album it would probably not entice the listener unfamiliar with Buckley's previous efforts, despite the appearance of 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Song To The Siren'.However, each song improves with repeated listening as one becomes more familiar with it's radical shifts and each song does inhabit a genre of it's own.
Lyrically Buckley is also out on a limb - witness the unfettered outburst of 'Mama let me smell your thighs' on opener 'Come Here Woman'.
It is this unrestrained freedom of expression, in words and in music, that makes 'Starsailor' such compelling listening.Try listening to 'Greetings From L.A.' after this; you will find it formulaic and bland.To paraphrase the man himself: 'If you come to love [Starsailor], you will stay forever...'

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