Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
Usually an odds and sods compilation is simply a nice bit of musical archeology for an artist. For the Millennium, however, these late 60's recordings are absolutely essential. As a functioning band, they only managed to release one album, although I consider it to be one of the best ever, so anything else of their's that we can scrape together deserves at least my rapt attention.
The guiding light of the Millennium's Begin album was very clearly producer and vocalist Curt Boettcher, but this disc shifts the focus to some of the other exceptionally talented band members like Sandy Salisbury, Joey Stec, and Lee Mallory. In full disclosure, this compilation doesn't even attempt to match the amazing vision of the Begin album, and there are definitely a few bland tracks present here, but the bulls eyes are absolutely phenomenal.
There are a couple demo-quality renditions of tracks from Begin, but I don't consider those to be much more than a fleeting curiosity. Where this disc really shines is in some of the outtakes and tracks earmarked for the band's never realized second album. In this category is the blast of country-tinged sunshine psych "I Just Don't Know How To Say Goodbye," the truly groovy "god People," and "Suspended Animation," which managed to realize the tag of 'cosmic American music' in a way that neither Roger McGuinn or Gram Parsons quite managed. In general, the tracks here veer a little more into the country rock territory than the band's earlier recordings do, but when it gets matched with a fully realized sunbleached Boettcher production, the results are truly magical.
This is not where you want to start with the Millennium. The Begin album gets my absolute highest recommendation, but I promise that you'll be thirsting for more, and this is the best place to look for it (along with Sagittarius' Present Tense).
The Millennium - 2003 - Pieces