Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Gentle Soul" (US Folk Psych 1968)

The Gentle Soul's sole album is suffused with pretty and wistful folk-rock tunes, deftly produced by Terry Melcher to incorporate dreamy orchestral instrumentation -- harpsichord, flute, and cello -- while retaining an understated subtlety. If you like the Stone Poneys, who made similar material in the late 1960s, there's no way you're not going to like this album. If you're sitting on the fence after that conditional recommendation, it might be too mellow for your tastes. If you want to know how exactly it might differ from the Stone Poneys, it's a little more on the soft-rock side, and definitely heavier on the male-female harmonies. All of which might be underselling the record, which is pretty attractive, though not astounding, on its own terms. That's probably Ry Cooder making his presence felt on the gutsiest and bluesiest tunes, "Young Man Blue" and "Reelin'," both of which feature excellent acoustic slide guitar. Although Pamela Polland and Rick Stanley sing and write well together, it's Polland whose personality comes through stronger, particularly as she takes the occasional unharmonized lead vocal and is the sole composer of one of the record's strongest tunes, "See My Love (Song for Greg)." Is this worth the three figure prices it commands on auction lists? No. But what is? It's decent music if you can get it. It was finally reissued on CD by Sundazed in 2003 with the addition of nine bonus cuts, including all five songs from their late-'60s non-LP singles, an alternate take of the single "Tell Me Love," and three previously unreleased outtakes, among them the early Jackson Browne composition "Flying Thing." With the exception of a bluesy 1968 version of "2:10 Train" (also covered by the Stone Poneys and the Rising Sons), most of these have a poppier sound than the album, sometimes showing the influence of the Byrds and the Mamas & the Papas in the harmonies and guitar parts. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Sample pic: Click


Blogger Vlasdance said...

Thanks Lizardson...
Thanks a lot for this one,
i had it once, but my hard disk had a problem and lost it..
so thanks a lot again..

18 November, 2006 17:11  
Blogger annewithane said...

Thank you so much - I was just reading on Jim Valley's website the other day about how he was friends with members of the Gentle Soul. Been curious about their music since and then voila! here it is - just great. Thanks again.

19 November, 2006 00:11  
Anonymous sub_commandante_marcos said...

Q. I was searching for 'Carolyn Hester Coalition' & there are links to the 'upcoming' section, but clickin on them gets 'not found'. Is there a schedele to up the Carolyn Hester Coalition s/t album? Still have no blogg acct, so a formal request can't be made at this time.

24 November, 2006 12:41  

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