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Artist: MCCARTNEY, CECIL
Title: Om
Format: LP
Label: Lost Century
Country: UK
Price: $22.00
"Reissue of sadly underrated 1968 UK psych-folk rarity. Mixing in melodic psych folk with experimental feel throughout. This album has been neglected for far too long! Limited edition 300 copies only." - Lost Century.
"The Om album, which contains mostly self-penned material, together with versions of songs by Pete Seeger, Dylan and Paul Simon, is brushed off as "inconsequential folky material" (!!!!) and then given a kicking; it is called "apparently very bizarre" by someone who admits theyve never even heard it. And the majestic Liquid Blue is referred to thus: "appeared for some reason on a "Circus Days" compilation, though this isnt a stand-out track performance by any stretch of the imagination." Well, I think youre all wrong. Liquid Blue IS something special. Those mellifluous harpsichord runs, Indian finger cymbals, sprightly rococo orchestration and breathy articulation, to say nothing of the lyrics, surely elevate it far above the norm. And those lyrics? Well, what can you do with a song which has lines such as, "Moving through the purple doors, Lady Celia and her horse, I love you all til the universe sings, Galaxies to deep space, Fade awaaaay..." or "May your dreams be reality, War to cease, Love to be." What else to do other than admire it as an exemplary example of British hippie pop? That Cecil McCartney is sincere is perhaps what damns him in the eyes of some later fans of the music. I say "fans of the music", because it seems they are no more than that, they clearly dont want to partake of the substance of hippiedom, merely its fancy dress trappings. They are frightened of Cecils veracity, his self-belief, his vision. To such as these, the existence of Cecils music will forever be the disapproving voice of the hippie conscience, in the wings wagging his gnarled finger at all the plastic hippies. Cecils songs are simplistic in structure. but are far from "inconsequential". And although, primarily folk-based (the presence of two other Dylan-worshipping Celts - Donovan and David McWilliams - is never far away), troubadour singer and acoustic guitar stuff, with occasional flute runs, Cecil expounds his version of the New Creed against a backdrop of occasional sound effects (the horrifying God Is Dead), sped-up vocal (Plastic Jesus), an intense aural Happening (Sacrifice) and prototype New Age mystical dizziness (Meditation). That the important folk strand of UK hippiedom has been ignored in recent years by dance floor obsessed mod-o-centrics, cannot be denied. But the existence of such music is a testament to its position within the stronghold of the Revolution. If you want to find out how it heard and how it felt to be a genuine hippie, then Om is as good a place to start as any, and worth a dozen sociological studies. If we can, from our enlightened perspective, accuse Cecil and his ilk of anything, it is surely only of naiveté, or of over exuberance in following the hippie path. Surely naiveté is preferable to bloated cynicism?” -Ray Holton, OM: A PERSONAL APPRECIATION.





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