Albums »Barabajagal

album-Donovan-Barabajagalby Donovan (1969)

The grandpa of cutie-pie-gentle-folk-rock does good and tries mixing up his usual MO on Barabajagal with strange arrangements, blurred influences and inconsistent songs. I Love My Shirt is awful – apologies to anyone who is a fan – but its inclusion on this album doesn’t diminish the brilliance of all the other gems any less.

The title song is catchy and grand, Superlungs My Supergirl is that kind of groovy tune that you can envision short skirted free chicks jamming to shot at a low angle in some counterculture B movie, while Where is She is soft and lovely and spun from feelings of being in love and clouds, Happiness Runs is like the quirkiness of a Wes Anderson movie distilled into music,  The Love Song is very Belle and Sebastian but a bit too goofy for my tastes, Susan on the West Coast Waiting is just odd and perfect, and he goes all off the rails with the storytelling and epic sound wall of Atlantis, Trude has a the upbeat feel of the best and most approachable of the Dead, then Pamela Jo ventures into vaudevillian territory (for better or worse, depending on your mood).

An album reissue came out a few years back with several bonus tracks; I don’t have it but from what I’ve read it might be well worth the investment.

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Posted on January 17, 2010

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