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Dashiell Hedayat - Obsolete CD (album) cover

OBSOLETE

Dashiell Hedayat

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.21 | 85 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dapper~Blueberries
3 stars In 1967, the Multi National Canterbury and Jazz rock band, Gong, was born. Truthfully I never really cared much about the band, heard a few songs but never found them worth investing. However today I learned a member of the band had a short solo career, but despite it being short it was relatively loved for progressive rock and psychedelic rock fans. One such album is considered his best, and it's Obsolete. I didn't know why but I just decided to hear it on a whim. For some reason, I just wanted to hear what this man can play and what he was capable of.

This is technically a Gong album, but I'd like to consider this more of a solo effort rather than something fully by the band. Like The Final Cut with Roger Waters at the helm of the ship with Pink Floyd as the crew members, however most likely less toxic. It is definitely an interesting project filled with 4 (2 if you wanna be a hipster) of jazzy, psychedelic and early progressive rock sounds that waste barely any time establishing the sound of Dashiell's music he was dabbling in at the time.

The album opens up with the first part of the Eh, Mushroom, Will You Mush My Room side, Chrysler. I must say, it's rather unique and a tad refreshing to hear a album with barely any singing. Definitely a neat sight for the ears to behold. Dashiell usually recites his poetry on this and the rest of the songs. I do not know what they are saying because they are in French, but I say they are a bit of charm to the experience. I do like the more rock oriented sound too. Very neat to hear a band like Gong take their jazzy sound and loosen it up a bit to give way for more rocking sounds. This is definitely not progressive rock in the normal sense, but in a more figurative sense, using more pop like music to progress the songs forwards and create a memorable experience. However a problem that is persisted in the album is the production quality. Even for a 70s album this is a bit poor in terms of quality, and sometimes the instrumentation can get very loud and obnoxious, which can get really tiring after the full listen.

Speaking of loud and obnoxious, track two, Fille de L'Ombre is exactly that. I know psychedelic rock in itself is meant to be really weird and complex in that aspect, but this feels a bit excessive almost. It's obnoxiously ear grading in the cries and talking, and it just never goes away, plus the rather poor production on top of that makes for a rather poor track.

However the album comes back around with Long Song For Zelda. A slow tempo a super smooth sounding song that feels like a drastic but welcome shift in tone for the album to take, which after the weird and unorthodox Fille de L'Ombre. It takes a back seat on the weirdness of the last two songs and makes something special out of it. This is definitely my favorite song off of the album. And now I feel like the subpar production quality adds a certain charm to this track unlike the last two. I feel a bit of nostalgia with this song, even if I wasn't born at the time this album was made, but it reminds me of the old, low quality songs my late grandpa used to play on his record player that always had a low quality sound to it. It's strangely makes the song beautiful.

The last song is the 21 minute tune, Cielo Drive / 17. You know how a movie has trailers that reveal somethings of the big picture but doesn't reveal all of it. The last three songs are like that because this long piece feels like the combination of the 3 songs put together in one long suite. It has those rocking moments that are less progressive in the aspect of a weird or symphonic sound, the weirdness that are still admittedly even here, inadequate to the rest of the sounds on this song and album, and it has those slower and more nostalgic sounding moments that have a certain charm. And honestly speaking, this is a pretty good long song, but it never has those moments that make you feel rewarded after enduring long amounts of music. I think that is the main problem with this album, even the strangest works of music like The Residents or early Pink Floyd has those moments that make you remember and love those songs, this album really does not which is quite sad to me because for an album that is rather good, it never leaves much of an impact on me, no matter how many times I hear this album.

So after hearing this album a few times, I feel like this album definitely has some good things going for it. It has a good psychedelic sound that definitely showcases the importance of psychedelic rock in our culture, however nothing really leaves a huge impact on me, and the production and type of weird the album gives off makes me feel like this album isn't the lost masterpiece that many Gong or heck many progressive rock fans says it is. So overall, it's a good album, but not my absolute favorite.

Dapper~Blueberries | 3/5 |

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