Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I would

have paid good money (if I had any) to go to this show-

the band are able to recreate the intricate layers of blissful harmonies on songs such as "Maybe after He's Gone" and "Beechwood Park". As their voices soar in the middle of "Hung Up on a Dream", it's real shivers-down-the-spine stuff. The baroque pop of "Friends of Mine", dedicated to the couples who did and didn't make it, and the anti-war "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" prove that the band were both of their time and incredibly prescient. "Time of the Season", the album's closing track, has lost none of its breathy, breezy charm. The encore of "Tell Her No" and "She's Not There" further demonstrates how far St Albans' finest had travelled from their British Invasion beginnings.

Critics are often accused of perversely talking up obscure albums but Odessey and Oracle has gone from curio to cult to classic and deserves a place in everyone's collection. Timeless.

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