If one were to jump into the way back machine with its dials set to the 1950s, they would come across a lot of things. Sputnik was flying, Chuck Berry was wailing, and “conformists” (regular folk), along with much of the mainstream media, was making fun of Beatniks.
’50s Beat poets and scenesters were no different than other subculture-following bohemian types that had come before and would come after them; their circle was filled with innovators, pretenders, and self-critics. Enter Rod McKuen, the cat with a thousand zingers for his beatnik brethren.
This reissue of Mckuen’s second album (as well as many bonus tracks) marks the 40th anniversery of its original release. Pieces like “Haiku Poems” and “Back to Sausalito” will definitely please those in an introspective mood. Mckuen’s easy flowing vocals are carried into the conciousness by jazzy/pop instrumentals.
There’s not enough that can be said for this disc or Rod Mckuen’s dignified narrative genius. Blast this loud on your way down to the co-existence bagel shop, and everything will feel fine.
Written by John Morrison.