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Good Instrumental Work, Wretched Lyrics and Vocals
on August 27, 2001
Alas, I don't own this album, or rather I no longer own this album. I once had it in its original vinyl form on the Blue Thumb label, back before Tyrannosaurus Rex got abbreviated. Words by definition can express the sophomoric lyrics, such as the line "We were enchained by the rain to the pain of our love and then we cried," from "Sunken Skies," but the best I can do to describe the melisma of the word "cried" is to say that it sounds as if the vocalist were trying to cough up a hairball. This is very much an artifact of its age, with wretched fantasy-inspired lyrics (the first line of "Great Horse," "Great Horsey Champer Goldbraid," with "Goldbraid" pronounced "galled bride" perhaps anticipating Monty Python's later pronunciation of some name as "Mangrove Throat-Warbler," is unforgettable) backed by good instrumentals. Get it for historical interest; get it to see how Marc Bolan developed musically; get it if you have Florence Foster Jenkins in your collection; get it so you can be amazed at what your hippie (grand) parents thought was cool. (You know, kids, there really was some controversy about whether Mungo Jerry's vocalist ripped off the grating fast vibrato style used in places on this album.) James "love god sitting on my shoulder, and I'm glad" Jones
ERRATUM: It's "Lofty Skies," not "Sunken Skies;" my subconscious must have been trying to get me to think of the infinitely superior music of the late Jimmie Spheeris while I was writing.