Quality: 3.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
Ever see "The Wicker Man?" Not the newer one with the bees, and the bear suit, and crazy Nick Cage, but the 70's one with Christopher Lee. Some of this music makes me think of that movie's creepy-groove folk. I'd like to think that there's a naked woman banging on walls and singing some of the tunes here - but not all of them (like the ones with a dude singing). Be forewarned, however, that this is a wildly inconsistent album. Although some of the tunes dabble in pristine sunshine pop, psych folk, and a few other points in between, there are an equal number of tracks that dabble in awful. Let's see if we can parse those out.
Now let's get positive here. There is an album lurking among these tracks that would give the Free Design more than a run for its money. Go ahead and program these ones if you want to follow the doctor's prescription: "Overture to the Sun," "Where Are You," "Be Like Me," "And I Was Blue," "Magician In the Mountain," "Give Me All Your Loving," and "All In Good Time." Congratulations, you can now add an extra point, and maybe a touch more, to the quality rating. These demonstrate what Sunforest does really well - ghostly sunshine folk at dusk that Stereolab must've spun a few times in their heyday. "And I Was Blue" is the absolute "Nugget" here where everything comes together in the grooviest of witches' brew concoctions. If you want to pad the time, feel free to throw in "Bonny River," "Lovely Day," and "Garden Rug." They've got a slight touch of cheese but are still very enjoyable in the end. Great Moondog! Now we've got a prime 27.5 minute album, which would have been perfectly acceptable for 1969.
Then we've got "Mr. Bumble," "Lighthouse Keeper," "Old Cluck," and "Peppermint Store." These songs sound much like you'd expect songs with these titles to sound. It's not a pretty situation. I've never made it through a few of these, unless I was playing Tetris Battle while listening - that shizzle's timed so you can't just break away.
Man, I tell you there is a classic here. Just take advantage of the mp3 age and make yourself a groovy playlist. Sunforest may have been missing a proper editor, but that can now be you. No, you don't screw around with the track listings of "Sgt. Pepper's" or "Who's Next," but I think it's perfectly legitimate to screw around with the running order of "Sound of Sunflower."