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Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow CD (album) cover

SURREALISTIC PILLOW

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.58 | 142 ratings

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Alitare
4 stars Surrealistic Pillow ? 1967 (3.6/5) (low four, nearly a three) 12 ? Best Song: White Rabbit

And this is the focal point for ever wanting to listen to the Airplane in the very first place. This isn't maturity (a band of this nature could hardly be called upon to mature), but it's something surely better than Takes Flight. For one, it's only derivative in sound and style, not melodic sense. Sure, plenty of bands did the dark psychedelia, and plenty of them bands did a lot of acid. That doesn't make the melodies any better. But this one, coming right at the front of the 1967 explosion, is a true highlight, really. It's not a masterpiece, but I can see how it would've been confused as one. It has not one, but several memorable songs on it. 'She Has Funny Cars' is their rocking introduction, 'Somebody to Love' is their pop heartsong, and 'White Rabbit' is their apocalyptic vision. They got Grace Slick and she yelped and howled all the way around. True, I never much cared for her as a singer in general, especially when compared to Janis Joplin, who trumps her instantly. But you can't deny the personality she brought with her to the group. If Paul and them had sang all the vocals on this album, I'd have chucked it out into the road. Not all the songs are fine (particularly the ones where Grace isn't leading, like the Takes Off reject 'D.C.B.A'), the poetry is insipid, and your mind will only be blown if this happens to be the only 1967 album you've ever heard. Aside from that, it's a damn fine classic from a damn fine year, like good cheap wine.

Alitare | 4/5 |

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