This is an album that apparently has a huge back story to its release. Regardless of that, this is often seen as a unique album and a true classic of its time and genre. Being a band of all colours (black, white and psychedelic, so to speak), this should be a very interesting listening experience, breaking down traditional barriers of music at the time. Let’s examine this album, track by track.
We begin with Alone Again Or which begins with some incredible acoustic fingerpicking in the right channel. Before long, a beautiful piece of string laden Rock music that sounds glorious enters. A great sense of awesome musicality is here, and this is beautiful and melodic. Terrific way to start the album, although there are no really loud electric guitars here. A horn solo then emerges, playing the main melody. This is really fine music to hear. An excellent tune to begin this album with.
Next is A House Is Not A Motel which sounds more subtle and interesting than you’d expect. A lovely piece that shows that screamed vocals are not necessary in good music. There are beautiful acoustic guitar parts, a clean guitar solo and some really amazing drum work here. The lyrics are extremely Psychedelic, and proves that being original is a great thing in a musical sense. Some amazing guitar solos are near the end here, sounding somewhat like Jimi Hendrix.
Andmoreagain is a really pretty and lovely love song. Very beautiful, lovely and melodic, this is a true gem of the 1960s, both the song and album. A strange set of lyrics are here, but nonetheless, this is an excellent musical journey through uncharted musical territory at the time. There is a violin and acoustic guitar solo here, which is nice. A rather odd love song, but it works very well. Some brilliant lyrics are here as well. Nice and sweet love song.
The Daily Planet is an upbeat, acoustic strummed number that sounds wonderful. It goes into an upbeat and really excellent Pop/Rock music piece that is definitely great. Some lyrics that enter here are really awesome and heavily drug inspired here, no doubt. A great piece of music that sounds top, nice to hear. Really excellent musicality here, despite the fact that the band had a huge amount of problems at the time. Excellent.
Up next is Old Man which is very much a Folk/Acoustic piece and sounds really wonderful. It is a strange piece lyrically and talks openly about sexual matters. Regardless of its oddness in that part of the music, the rest of the song is really amazing. A great musical gem, strings and horns enter, along with piano as accompaniment. Strange storyline and intention here, but good listening regardless.
After that is The Red Telephone which is a great piece of lovely music. Psychedelic imagery, singing about magic and magical effects, the band sound really awesome here. The bass guitar sounds really well played, along with the other usual guests of instrumentation on this song. A very pseudo-Eastern sounding string part enters in the middle of the song. A really excellent piece of likely LSD inspired lyricism is here, and is enjoyable, no matter if you are sober or not. The outro is pretty weird, with a spoken word part that speaks about freedom.
Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark and Hilldale comes next, with a Jazzy sort of feel to it. Shortly into it, horns enter and we have a really fabulous piece of music. Awesome, upbeat and interesting, this is a really top listening experience. The main melody is played and worked around as a guitar solo on this song as well, pretty cool. An awesome and groovy listen, this is really cool. Social realism is in the lyrics here. Good tune from start to finish.
Live And Let Live arrives next, with some really weird lyrics at the start regarding sexual activity. It then goes into a decent tune which has some surreal stream-of-consciousness type lyrics here. A really nice sounding piece of music, this is beautifully melodic with acoustic guitars, free form playing and gorgeous singing. The electric guitar solo here is different. A definitely weird piece lyrically, but beautiful musically. A nice Pop/Rock pastiche that goes on for about five minutes or so, it is thoroughly enjoyable. Towards the end, the whole things speed up in a frenzy. One of the best pieces from this album.
Following is The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This which begins with beautiful acoustic guitar playing, before the main piece begins, sounding a lot like a Burt Bacharach song. Nice sounding music, the midsection here is very orchestral Classical music based, but in a Love format. Great work here, and a wonderful listening experience. Some lovely harmonies are here, too. An unusual mixture of Psychedelic lyrics and Classical sounding instrumentation, a real gem.
Next is Bummer In The Summer which is a neat piano-led piece that sounds really cool. Catchy and interesting, this is a different but good song. A clean electric guitar solo here makes this piece a bit more energetic. Although this is a lesser track, this is quintessential listening. Good tune.
You Set The Scene is the last song here and begins with acoustic fingerpicking that is frenetic before some rhythmic bass guitar joins in along with strings before the piece gets going. Although this sounds fairly traditional-sounding musically, the lyrics are druggy and unusual. Weird and odd, this is a good piece that changes a few minutes through to something slower and different. This section is more melodic, but still quite clever and interesting to hear. The horn and strings sections drive this part of the album along. Awesome stuff, this is a really cool listening experience. It goes into a passionate love song that suits the musical arrangements perfectly. Interesting listening to finish off this grand-sounding album. Some energetic Beatlesque horns are at the end of this song. Nice.
This is a very good listen and although it is not a purely Psychedelic Rock album, it is impressive and is worth a listen once every so often. The nature of the album’s recording does seem to take some of the magic away from the songs, but still, it is a unique and interesting listen even today.
Schizophrenic listening experience.