David Axelrod
Songs of Innocence [1]http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lobby http://www.tinymixtapes.comsites/default/files/arton5146_0.jpg

[[1]http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lobby; 8238]

Rating: 5/5 5 / 5 (0)

Styles: psychedelia, baroque instrumentals
Others: Ennio Morricone, Electric Prunes


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Somehow the work of David Axelrod has become simultaneously one of the best and worst kept secrets of our recent musical history, depending on what side of the aisle you're on. While beat-heads and producers have known his brilliance for years, it seems the general public at large is still relatively unfamilar with his work.

Axelrod began a rather fruitful career as a producer for Capitol Records, for such artists as Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls and the psychedelic pop group The Electric Prunes. Not content to rest on his laurels, the multi-talented Axelrod switched gears into composer/arranger mode, releasing some of the wildest, fascinating, and downright weird albums of the late 1960s through the 1970s. Two of these albums titled after poet William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, were released in 1968 and 1969 respectively.

On the first of these records, Song of Innocence, Axelrod's approach to his work seamlessly folds the musical spectrum until the two ends meet. Shades of psychedelic rock music meld with jazz, classical orchestration and even funk into one of the most volatile mixtures of genres you'll likely ever hear. While this may sound like a potentially pretentious trainwreck waiting to happen, nothing could be further from the truth; this is one of the most unique and thought provoking musical efforts of the last several decades. The album is like a dense magic carpet woven together through Axelrod's conceptual loom, and that magic is made up of the fine details one sees when examining the individual components and patterns; there is a steady progression that uses certain key musical phrases as the album moves forward, building steadily on top of itself.

It's difficult to explain in exact terms what this sounds like, but Song of Innocence storms out of the gate with "Urizen" and its lithe, tough as nails bass line and reverb drenched guitars insistently stabbing their way to the forefront of the song. "Holy Thursday" manages to successfully co-mingle jazzy piano, smooth vibes and a soaring string and horn chorus that nearly blows you out of your seat. The middle passages slide into more traditionally jazzy territory while a trippy harpsichord weaves its way toward the surface. Toward the end, the songs begin a slow ascent into heady psychedelia, replete with gritty guitars and spaced out organ licks.

Song of Innocence is arguably the jewel of the Axelrod crown; a diverse and opulent experience so richly engrossing, you'll want to kick yourself for not going baroque sooner.

1. Urizen
2. Holy Thursday
3. The Smile
4. A Dream
5. Song of Innocence
6. Merlin's Prophecy
7. The Mental Traveler

1. Urizen
2. Holy Thursday
3. The Smile
4. A Dream
5. Song of Innocence
6. Merlin's Prophecy
7. The Mental Traveler