Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take an Odessey, 18 Jan 2006
This review is from: Odessey & Oracle (Audio CD)
Many bands (the Beatles, the Beach Boys) at least dabbled in psychedelica, but the Zombies are often overlooked. For the 30th anniversary of "Odessey and Oracles," the Zombies' best album was rereleased in a new form, proving that their enchanting psychedelic pop has aged exceeedingly well.

The Zombies were unusually good at taking perky, sweet, lush music and wrapping it around a more serious song, such as the upbeat "Care of Cell 44" (guy writing to his jailed girlfriend), or the lovely "A Rose For Emily," a poignant little song that tells of a lonely woman doomed to stay lonely. "And as the years go by/she will grow old and die/The roses in her garden fade away/Not one left for her grave..."

But the Zombies aren't all sadness wrapped in happy music. There are perky songs about being happy in love, losing a love and hoping she'll return, and reminiscing about "golden days and golden summer nights." The album ends on a reassuring note with the laid-back "Time of the Season," which sounds like the ultimate hippie anthem.

I have no memories of the 60s, since I was only born in the eighties. But "Odessey and Oracle" gives a rosy glow to that era,. Psychedelic flair minus the hazy, and every song is a gem. Though "Time of the Season" was the sleeper hit from the album, it's not the best or catchiest song on here -- it's just one of many excellent ones.

Rod Argent was definitely an outstanding songwriter. He was able to create atmospheric and beautiful songs with very simple writing ("Brief candles in her mind/bright and tiny gems of memory"). Perhaps his finest moment here is "I knew he when summer was her crown/and autumn sad/how brown her eyes," as a kick-off to a colorful look at a woman compared to all the seasons.

Colin Blunstone's vocals were well-suited to the music: a bit husky, quite pleasant and mellow. The music itself was generally based on guitar, gentle drums, pretty piano, and wavering Mellotron, with a bit of accordian coming in in one song. There's a rich interweaving of many instruments, in all sorts of pop music. Some is almost classical in tone, some is uptempo stuff that is perfect for the radio.

The Zombies were in peak form in "Odessey and Oracle," churning out some of the purest pop music ever. As sweet and exquisite as it was in the 1960s.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2011 11:13:32 BDT
Wasn't 'Brief Candles ' written by Chris White, who contributed 7 songs for that album?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2011 12:26:16 BDT
Yes it was as was Changes the other lyric quoted in the review...Chris was just as good a writer as Rod

jim
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