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Fankhausser, Merrell: The Best of Merrell Fankhausser

I've been listening to music seriously for the last, oh I would say, 45 years but this is the first time I've heard about this gentleman that has been around from the early '60s…As they say, we can't know them all and it is certainly the case in music.

For an introduction to this man's work, I got this 2 cd /32 tracks compilation, nothing less! His type of music is being called "Surfadelica", a term unknown to me yet, but I must agree as it suits the music very well. You can hear some of that California's feeling in songs like: "Lila", a very Mama and the Papas tune. The first seven songs are sort of cute, simple and catchy melodies with the 60's flavor all over the place; something old hippies like me can dig. You can hear some fuzzy guitars, trumpet, acoustic parts, Hammond Organ, psychedelic tones and love lyrics. "Flying to Machu Picchu" is where psychedelia is the most obvious. Right after that number you can hear a very sweet acoustic song called "Goin'South, very reminiscent to vintage America (the band). A nicely melodic instrumental piece. After a break of a more upbeat song ("One More Day"), a series of more acoustic melodies follow to close pretty much disc 1. Mandolin, violins and psyched are found on "The Land of MU". Then more acoustic guitars on "Blue Jay Blue", still with the psychedelic mode. This continues on with more acoustic guitars, violin, country/folk and that Surfadelica vibe.

Second disc was not, for me at least, as interesting. My notes read: "almost good and catchy; lacks enthusiasm…Still Mr. Fankhausser was able to pull some nice psychedelia from his sleeves. I could have done without the Reggae, bouncy keyboards and low-fi moments of some tracks. "Matthew's Dream" has very hippy like lyrics and acoustic riffing. This cool song is followed by something Pink Floyd could have written; "Waterfall" is full of atmosphere with cool acoustic arpeggios, nature samplings and slide guitar. Fast forward to song # 9, "Queen MU" for some 12 strings riffs and a modern folksy tone. Then there are a nice series from track 11 to 14 following. A country-bluesy song with a slide solo on "Tale of Misty Mountain"; a country style with harmonica on "Move to Higher Ground"; a good ol'rockin' song follows with "Two Vegetarians" all that closing up nicely with a surfin' a la The Ventures "Surfin 'Pismo". I would have hope for the disc ending there but…the last two songs are a boring failed love song and a club Med. Exotic poppy and cheesy song…

Lots of good cute and psychedelic tunes to enjoy for you on this compilation.

Track listing:
Disc One
1- Too Many Heartbreaks
2- She's Gone
3- Lila
4- Supermarket
5- Drivin' Sideways (On a One Way Street)
6- Girl I am Waitin' For You
7- I am Flyin' Home
8- The Clouds Went That Way
9- One More Day
10- The Land of MU
11- Blue Jay Blue
12- On Hour Way to Hana
13- Garden in the Rain
14- Make a Joyful Noise
15- Dharmic Connection
16- Some Of Them Escaped it All.

Disc two:
1- Calling From a Star
2- Alien Talk
3- Matthew's Dream
4- Waterfall
5- Who Can You Call?
6- Workin' in the City
7- Flying to Machu Picchu
8- Goin' South
9- Queen MU
10- Haiku Jam
11- Tale of Misty Mountain
12- Move to Higher Ground
13- Two Vegetarians
14- Surfin'Pismo
15- When Merrell Met Jane
16- Tiki Lounge

Added: September 16th 2013
Reviewer: Denis Brunelle
Related Link: Gonzo Multimedia
Hits: 2335
Language: english

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