Album #131 – Odessey and Oracle
This album was magnificent. I had only heard three tracks from this album before: Care of Cell 44, A Rose for Emily and, The Zombies’ biggest hit, Time Of The Season. This album is clearly an example of Baroque pop. You can tell by listening to this album that they took influence from The Beatles and The Beach Boys material from the same period. The two main musicians here are organist and piano player virtuoso Rod Argent. Argent crafted many of the songs and arrangements you hear on this album. Colin Blunstone is the lead vocalist and is clearly the voice needed for these songs to work. Blunstone’s voice is sweet and smooth and reflects the songs that are presented here. Bassist Chris White also wrote some of the albums’ songs. But, it is Argent’s songs that are more memorable. The Mellotron is used prominently here and adds to the classical influences on this record. The Zombies were known for two hits prior to this albums’ release: She’s Not There (covered brilliantly by Santana in the mid-1970’s) and Tell Her No. Both of these hits are the classic British Invasion sound. But, She’s Not There seems to showcase Blunstone’s velvety vocals and Argent’s virtuoso electric piano playing. That single would foreshadow this album’s sound. This album is a favourite of many and has gained high praise from critics and fans alike. I would have not listened to this album though, had it not been for the album list. Beechwood Park seemed, for me, to be the only track that was out of place. As I listened, I thought I was listening to a MacArthur Park rip off. It seemed out of place mostly because it sounded drastically different from the rest of the album. It could have been written differently. But, minus that track, it is a great album and represents the way in which pop music and classical music as an influence can co-exist in a way that makes for an enjoyable experience. Overall, I give this album 4.5 out of 5.
Next: Astral Weeks by Van Morrison