Top critical review
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A good overall album.
on 18 October 2005
First, a technical note: the track listing here omits track 10 - 'Nobody's Spoonful Jam'.
Overall (for me), this is a great album from 1969, though it does not sum up the 'psychedelic' era -a much abused term to be sure - it merely forms a part of it. Don't imagine this to be too far out or trippy, rather it is mostly mellow, mildly rock-like, and with jazzy `jam' instrumentals. The first 4 tracks are predominantly gentle & alright, replete with changes of tempo, occasional organ sound, or hic feel, and are alright. `Rosemary' stands out as the superb one among them. `Mountains Of The Moon' is a 4 minute number with a baroque feel, with harpsichord etc., and is quite a gentle track. As with `Rosemary' it has a mild folk feeling to it. `China Cat Sunflower' is a poppier tune, with more Hammond-type sounds, and spacey vocals; Could have been a Monkees track (for comparison). Track 7: `What's Become Of The Baby' is the certain far-out (yet minimal) highlight of the album, and is eerie and atmospheric to an extreme - excellent! At over 8 minutes, this is worth the money alone! The subsequent track is the proverbial coming down - `Cosmic Charlie', though raved about, is (merely) good when seen in terms of its country rock-n-roll feel. Generally though, it is quite mellow in parts, and the overall feel is one of a journey (psychedelic or not). On to the Jams - all three are instrumentals, with a quite jazzy feel, conjuring up an idea of the 1970's lounge (or elevator) music type. The set is rounded off with a live version of `Cosmic Charlie', which is not quite as polished as the album version, though excellent in parts.
Pure psychedelic, and flower power -fans may also wish to try the following: Country Joe & The Fish (1st two albums), Twink (Think Pink album - the BEST psychedelia), HP Lovecraft (HP1 & HP2), Kaleidoscope (UK & Us bands), Silver Apples (some gr8 eerie, atmospheric, xperimentl montages), Pink Floyd (early stuff - Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Ummagumma, & almost any of Syd Barret's solo stuff), Beatles (you know - Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Peppers, White Album), The United States Of America (for some top psychedelic tracks), Small Faces (especially Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, with Stanley Unwin vocals - mad!), Cyrus Faryar/Cosmic Sounds (Zodiac - trippy lyrics/vocals galore), Can (unsettling Cannibalism album - mushroom-induced, mind-blowing mayhem!), Parchment (most beautiful songs for a long long time, alongside Ballroom/Millennium), Dr. Timothy Leary (L.S.D. - you Can Be Anyone This Time Around etc.) -all available at Amazon ... etc. etc. etc.
Try also Porcupine Tree (voyage 34 - modern trip), Trance Tripping (supposed audial lysergy), The Beta Band's - The Three E.P.'s (dreamy, hallucinogenic, & triptastic), Hollydrift, Ros Bobos - Sonambulations album (weird and wonderful throughout), and Sir Isaac Neutron (`Sir Isaac Neutron's Ambient Dalliance' album, but hard to find).