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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Perfection (Part II)
The follow up to his 'Song of Innocence' debut album, David Axelrod's second album shares many similarities with its predecessor - it's an instrumental suite inspired by the works of William Blake and Axelrod's unique fusion of jazz-funk, psychedelia, progressive and orchestral music is still present. However, on this album innocence has given way to experience and this...
Published on 21 Dec 2010 by OMG! It's got a plug!

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good arranger not a genius
Step by step (the Electric prunes actually the name used for Mass in F minor or Release of an oath), the comments here above and the listening to the abstracts lead me to buy the record (Amazon.fr).
May be my hope was too high and the score is: disappointing.
Instrumental music listenable but nothing here is wonderful, great, amazing.
Obviously neither...
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by MOONLIGHT


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Perfection (Part II), 21 Dec 2010
By 
OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
The follow up to his 'Song of Innocence' debut album, David Axelrod's second album shares many similarities with its predecessor - it's an instrumental suite inspired by the works of William Blake and Axelrod's unique fusion of jazz-funk, psychedelia, progressive and orchestral music is still present. However, on this album innocence has given way to experience and this is evident in the music which is starker, more minimalist and avant-garde and has an almost reflective vibe to it.

It does begin on a high, with a familiar Axelrod chiming opening to 'The Poison Tree' that is punctuated by brief violin solos. However the second half of the song becomes darker and dense and sets the tone for much of the remainder of the album. 'The Human Abstract' is similar in style to The Electric Prunes' 'Holy Are You' (an Axelrod song in all but name), with a stunning Pink Floyd style guitar solo. 'The Fly', with its grandiose string arrangements, and 'London' are the two most upbeat songs here, whilst album closer 'The Divine Image' is possibly the darkest song Axelrod has ever recorded under his own name.

As an in-house producer, arranger and songwriter at Capitol records at the time this was recorded, Axelrod had the pick of session musicians and the most notable here are Earl Palmer on drums and Carol Kaye on bass guitar. Although the drums and bass breaks are limited here compared to 'Song of Innocence', the interplay between the two of them is exemplary throughout - they add real depth to the sound.

Much like its predecessor, this sounds like nothing recorded before or since - many have tried to copy and match the sound here (including Axelrod himself in later years) but none have come close. An essential listen and one of the finest records not only of the 60s, but in the history of modern music. Finally, this is best listened to in tandem with the aforementioned Song Of Innocence (and both albums would benefit from remastering).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Listening but worthwhile, 21 July 2000
By 
Neil Collis (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
I bought both 'Songs of....' albums last week and this is my favorite (at a push) although the slightly darker set of the two.
'Songs of Experience' is a short piece of work clocking in at around a half hour, with each song a slight derivative of the last, meaning that this is best served by listening to it from start to finish in one sitting. No one said that this would be easy and makes it a very intense, difficult and haunting experience which needs patience initially but expands on you with each play - without getting too deep - you actually get to understand it a little more.
Musically, the drums still sound so crisp it hurts but, personal taste here, the violin can grip you a little in the ear department and then your mates wander in and give you that 'what the hell are you listening too ? Put some James Brown on ! '
For beat diggers : 'Human Abstract' contains the piano sampled by DJ Shadow on 'Midnight'.
The other album,'Songs of Innocence', contains the break to The Artifacts 'Get down with tha Get Down' and some Fat Joe thing that I care not to remember.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz That William Blake Would Have Felt Honored By, 6 Jun 2005
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
Songs of Experience represents the second half of David Axelrod's musical vision of William Blake's famous Songs.
Whereas the first album on this project, Songs of innocence, is hopeful, daring and overall ambitious, these Songs of Experience, well, experiment. This is a darker album, a different but still quite lyrical and fearless Axelrod, bringing to a masterful close the cycle initiated on his 68' debut, Songs of Innocence.
The compositions, arragenments, and band performance are superb. When you realize that this album was released in 1969, you may begin to appreciate the innovative mind and mature expresiveness that blesses each of these Songs.
Along with its earlier half, a young masterpiece from one of Jazz's great, underecognized talents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sophomore seduction., 5 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
Axelrod's second album and a somewhat darker tone prevails as one would expect versus 'Songs Of Innocence' but with the beautiful production skills. The album is the usual Axelrod mix of beautiful string arrangements married to Earl Palmer's sublime drumming and Carol Kaye's slinky, rhythmic bass. Essential.
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4.0 out of 5 stars TV Series Music?, 13 April 2013
By 
70s "arrow" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
I do like this music a blend of orchestra, guitar, bass and organ. However, the overall feel is of a series of extracts of cop show chase and mood music. It is very soundtracky, you can almost imagine the hero sneeking around corners, gun drawn and pausing to listen for footsteps. Easyish listening, pleasant in an almost Burt Bacharach sort of way, but with no vocals.
If you liked late 60s early 70s TV you should love this.
Ohthis and the previous album, " songs of innocence" are idecently short 29 mins for the other 30 for this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good arranger not a genius, 31 Aug 2010
This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
Step by step (the Electric prunes actually the name used for Mass in F minor or Release of an oath), the comments here above and the listening to the abstracts lead me to buy the record (Amazon.fr).
May be my hope was too high and the score is: disappointing.
Instrumental music listenable but nothing here is wonderful, great, amazing.
Obviously neither Beethoven nor Debussy, not even the Brian Wilson at his top or any of the well arranged, performed, produced records of the best artists of "rock music".
I love William Blake, his inspiration, his visions, his mysticism that music is not at the same level, by far.
Nothing unpleasant however, remains good times.
Here and there, chords of acoustic guitar of the kind of Tim Buckley in his best era, we may think of David Crosby too.
Few pieces of horns as Mass in F minor, interesting using of vibes very often.
By far better listen to the most "easy works" of Frank Zappa, say "hot rats".
To sum up my opinion: pleasant not great!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Experience David Axelrod, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Songs Of Experience (Audio CD)
My Grandson requested this for Christmas and I was able to down load it to listen to. However there does not appear to be a "song" on it and I think I am of the wrong generation to appreciate this syle of music, but my Grandson loves it.
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Songs Of Experience
Songs Of Experience by David Axelrod (Audio CD - 2000)
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