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Various Artists

The Magical Mystery Psych Out: A Tribute to the Beatles

Review by Gary Hill

This is one of the better tribute albums I’ve heard. It’s got a wide variety of sound here. It wanders toward prog at times, even. There are some really strong moments and not really much that’s weak. I suppose a psychedelic tribute to the Beatles might seem redundant since a lot of their later material was psychedelic, but this definitely takes a lot of the music in new directions.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Electric Moon - Tomorrow Never Knows

This song was pretty much a psychedelic work out in its original form. If anything, Electric Moon brings some dreamy space rock to the mix. This is a great rendition.

Sugar Candy Mountain – Rain

A fairly mainstream take on the cut, there are still some solid psychedelic elements. This one is entertaining, even if rather closer to the original.

The Vacant Lots – Julia
This has more of a trippy psychedelia meets space rock feeling to it. It’s a good number.
The Blank Tapes - The Word
A fairly mainstream piece, this has some rockabilly in the mix. It’s less psychedelic than a lot of the stuff here. Still, it’s a good tune.
The Ruby Suns - Martha My Dear
I like this one a lot. It’s almost a minimalist approach. There is a real electronic vibe here, too. This is more like experimental prog turned psychedelia as far as I’m concerned. It’s a nice bit of variety.
The KVB – Taxman
There is some trippy, dreamy psychedelia on display here. It’s great stuff.
The Underground Youth - Come Together
A mostly minimalist approach, this has a real tripped out vibe to it. It gets some piano at the front at the end. While it’s hard to beat the heavy energy of this original, this is largely a completely different approach that works well.
Fantasmes - Love You To
To me, this feels like it could really be The Beatles. It’s got a great psychedelic rock sound. Mind you, there is some great jamming on this.
Quilt - Cry Baby Cry
More of a bouncy kind of psychedelic pop, this also feels quite a bit like The Beatles actually doing the song. It’s good, but not one of the standouts for me. I do like the freak out at the end, though.
The Lucid Dream - And I Love Her
While I like the echoey psychedelic arrangement on this, the vocals don’t work as well for me. Still, it’s a pretty cool version.
Kikagaku Moyo - Helter Skelter
Sure, I guess you could call this psychedelic. Personally, I’d say it’s more like noisy, garagey punk rock. I really don’t like this one. It just feels so amateurish. Your mileage may vary.
Strangers Family Band - Sun King
This is very twisted and bizarre. Although it’s incredibly strange, it somehow works really well. There is a real drugged out space rock element to this. It also has a lot in common with Rock in Opposition.

 

 
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