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Songs Cycled

6 customer reviews

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$10.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Songs Cycled + Song Cycle + Arrangements Volume 1 (180 Gram Vinyl)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 23, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00CJXYS3G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,670 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Leopold Stotch on July 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I will admit to being cynical about this release. All it does is essentially compile 12 songs that Parks released on a series of rather over-priced, poorly mastered, and skimpily annotated 45s over the past year. I picked up all of them, and found myself not returning to them at all. Not sure why. The covers were quite lovely, at least. Honestly, I think part of the reasoning for me was that Van Dyke Parks is just not a singles artist: His music has a density and depth that actually flourishes over the length of a well-programmed and well sequenced album. For example, on its own, a thoughtful instrumental like "Wedding in Madagascar" or "Amazing Graces" feels nice but somewhat stranded and isolated. As part a suite of songs, it provides a certain release -- a bit of breathing room after explosive colors and thick lyrical roux of his vocal numbers.

That's why this works so much better as an album than as a series of singles. Even though the songs are disparate -- an instrumental here, a calypso cover there, a remake of a previously released VDP composition here -- they hang together quite well, and compliment each other nicely. The sum result is a bit of a snapshot of Parks: Where he's been, where's going. Any charge leveled at him in the past (he's fussy, pretentious, effete, fey, etc.) is certainly applicable here, but those are the same reason we love him. His arrangements are super tidy (and boy, he loves his whole-tone scales); his lyrics dazzle with resourceful rhymes, evocative images, and twenty-five cent words; and at the heart of it all is a yearning...for a more elegant, refined, relaxed era that may or may not have existed. It's music that's of no time and entirely of its own genre -- polarizing stuff, for sure. But I'd easily rank this among my favorite Parks projects.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roy Caudill on August 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The true genius of Van Dyke Parks shines through again. I don't think he has a boring song in him...these are so beautifully braided with echoes of so many genre in such colorful arrangements. His legacy is now bookended by SONG CYCLE and SONGS CYCLED, but hopefully his innovative yet evocative creations will be shared with us for decades to come.
OH, I forgot to mention the packaging, notes, and art that accompanies the CD...truly gorgeous despite some of the pretentious gibberish that sometimes infests his commentaries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Hutt on August 25, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Van Dyke Parks is a national treasure and his music will be played and enjoyed for years. He embodies the spirit of "Americana" and has tapped deeply into the soul of the American Songbook. At the same time, he is a complete original and adds his own insight and special brand of humor into all his music.
Songs Cycled, a nice play on the title of his first album includes his take on him music old and new. Of special interest to me is his evolving orchestration of his work. He uses the orcchestra as a palette and picks and chooses a tonal color with an unexpected choice of instrumentation. His ear for melody is as sharp as ever, if not better. Some reviewers comment on his 'reedy" voice, but his voice has always been on the tenor side and simply has aged. It hasn't lowered as tenors usually do, but simply taken on a sheen of both experience and aging. If you have never listened to Van Dyke, start with this one, and prepare to be surprised.
Rick Hutt (Chicago)
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Van Dyke Parks "Songs Cycled"
Looking at the track listing from the mp3 page, this looks to be a collection of the six limited edition singles VDP released throughout 2011 and 2012. Very much looking forward to this, as I never got the chance to pick up the 7 inches.
Jul 1, 2013 by Comrade Spaghetti |  See all 3 posts
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