Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
I've sometimes heard Kim Fowley referred to as a psychedelic huckster, grasping at straws to churn out freakish records of bubblegum psych. This record will do nothing to dissuade that viewpoint, but I kind of like it anyway. There is a distinct cheezy charm as Fowley never quite hits the vocal mark even though he seems to be trying really hard, and the production pretty much throws out every psychedelic pop cliche that it can. It's very much a sell-out of its era, though, and this entertains me at least.
There is admittedly not a whole lot of originality here, but there is plenty of a fabricated Summer of Love sound. "Flower City" is an almost cringeworthy re-appropriation of "Ode to Joy," but it does feature a groovy beat and a short rave-up. "This Planet Love" manages to rip off "Who Do You Love?,' complete with a rabid Bo Diddley beat, and "Reincarnation" nicks the "Pushin' Too Hard" beat, which the Seeds themselves admittedly reused themselves about 57 times. "Super Flower" is a completely useless 'interview' section. You'd think that on a 21 minute album they would be able to avoid that sort of track. My favorite here is "War Game," which is a completely insane bit of orchestrated spoken word which would fit nicely on a 60's Zappa album. I will say that "See How the Other Half Love" is a fine psych-pop rocker that doesn't seem to have a specific antecedent (not that it brings anything particularly new to the table).
This isn't a good album, but it has a lot of charm. It's sort of like listening to a distorted, demented version of 1967 pop radio. If you aren't already familiar with cult stars like the Chocolate Watchband or the aforementioned Seeds, by all means explore that first. This odd Kim Fowley album is really just a little sugar for the already initiated. Half the fun is figuring out all of the things he's sonically stealing from elsewhere.