David Axelrod
Songs of Experience


4.5
superb

Review

by Josh D. USER (10 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2011 | 10 replies | 5,674 views


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A late 60's landmark mixing many instruments and genres into a just-about masterpiece.

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Revolutions in music happen all the time. Obviously, the full effect of any given time period can be felt for months or decades. The 1960’s were one of those decades that expanded and shaped music for many, many years to come. The world over has been singing the praises of that deeply unique cultural epoch.

David Axelrod falls right in thick of all of it. He had been part of music for a good while before he released his own music for the first time in 1968 with Song of Innocence. The following year, he released Songs of Experience. Both albums were inspired by the poems and art of William Blake. Falling right in line, Axelrod’s music became an enigmatic art itself. Songs of Experience comes rife with varied arrangements, a litany of instruments, and a good dose of genre mixing.

Though often filed under jazz in record stores, the occasion for this is merely because that is the best place to put it. Drawing on the psychedelic and experimental tendencies of the time, Axelrod created a diverse and engaging piece of music. Although the beginning of the lead track, “The Poison Tree”, will have you believe this is just a good-time 60’s rock album, you will find anything but such a thing. Orchestral arrangements, folk guitar, jazz drumming, organs and pianos, horns; it’s literally an ensemble, and a daring one at that.

Easily the best back-to-back combination on the album is “The Human Abstract” followed by “The Fly”. The two songs serve as a microcosm of the album, being amalgamations of the best the record has to offer. They bridge the whimsical passages with the flowing orchestral arrangements and the funk grooves with the classic rock vibes.

Yet, after all of this, the album ends with a very different idea than all of the tracks before it. Kind of like creepy noise-jazz meets breakbeat, it simply serves as a reminder of the range of sounds to experience. The album is called Songs of Experience, which is from the title of William Blake’s work itself. But those three words couldn’t be much more fitting for the kind of work and energy you will hear within eight songs. All of modest length, it is still an easy listen and an important predecessor to genre melding.

From smooth to bulky, Songs of Experience is an enchanting listen. It should be difficult to not find something to like in experimental psychedelic classical funk jazz rock, etc. You get the idea.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Josh D.
July 3rd 2011



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My apologies.

Obfuscation24
July 3rd 2011



3939 Comments


Nice review.

MO
July 3rd 2011



18231 Comments


I remember hearing The Fly for the first time and thinking damn this is great. The intro and grand feel of it is awesome. Nice review, gotten me to want to hear the rest of it. Have a pos.

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Josh D.
July 3rd 2011



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I recently ordered this on vinyl too.

pizzamachine
July 3rd 2011



12571 Comments


Hey, you did a review. Pizza pos!

DoubtGin
July 4th 2011



6748 Comments


I bet Songs of Innocence is better

Josh D.
July 5th 2011



13967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't know :/

Yotimi
July 7th 2011



6441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Both are awesome but I prefer this one because of The Human Abstract. All Endtroducing fans NEED to listen to that song.

Yotimi
September 16th 2011



6441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everything I've heard from this guy is great

Badylorzzlasu
June 18th 2012



6 Comments


I don't know about this album yet, but someone needs to review Earth Rot. It fucking shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble



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