11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
At his best,
This review is from: Jump (Audio CD)
Van Dyke Parks at his worst is willfully obscure and self indulgent. Here, he is at his best: witty, melodic, each note bursting with sweetness. His lyrics are (as always) amazing. The improbable instrumentation includes chromatic harmonica, hammered dulcimer, harp, steel drum and full orchestra and chorus on every cut. It's a Disney cartoon soundtrack on acid. It has such a good heart!
I heard him do this work live in the back room at McCabe's Guitar Store in Santa Monica along with a few dozen other fortunate souls in 1982. Robin Williams, all living members of Little Feat, Eric Anderson, Joni Mitchell, Eric Idle of Monty Python and others I have since forgotten were drawn by his reputation and it was an amazing night. The most amazing thing was that there were empty seats!!! This album does that concert justice.
Moonlighting and Song Cycle are the other two must-own discs.