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Daevid Allen - Now Is The Happiest Time Of Your Life CD (album) cover

NOW IS THE HAPPIEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE

Daevid Allen

Canterbury Scene


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fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For my money, this is Daevid Allen's most enjoyable (semi-) acoustic album. It is so endearing that I recommend it unreservedly to everyone who enjoys Daevid's singing on (say) ANGEL'S EGG's original B-side. Tracks like 'Why do we treat ourselves like we do' and 'Only make love if you want to' are intimate and wistful; they also have lovely melodies, and you'll feel as if Daevid were right next to you, warbling away and playing his acoustic guitar. Somehow, nothing on GOOD MORNING (which was distributed more widely than HAPPIEST TIME) touches me as deeply as these particular two tracks. They really show you Mr. Allen's gentlest side.

Most of the other compositions are equally enjoyable. 'Tally and Orlando...' is a string synthesizer-driven waltz, during which Daevid takes a ride in a real flying teapot with two of his children (or grandchildren?) It ends delightfully, with the kids chanting: 'Daevid must be joking!' Exactly so. 'See you on the Moontower' is Daevid and his electric guitar (with lots of echo on his voice) in rockabilly mood, but without bass or drums. 'Poet for Sale' features Daevid reciting a satiric poem in protest against the commercial exploitation of artists. On the album's original B-side, the most ambitious piece was 'I Am', a wonderfully dreamy piece of Ambient music (let's just not call it 'New Age', O.K.?) with lots of mellow synths, harp, glissando guitar, and the somehow unbearably moving sound of a donkey braying in Deya, Mallorca, where this album was recorded.

To my regret, I haven't heard this album for several decades, since I've never found a CD release, but I played it to death in the late 1970s and vividly remember all the music I've described above. The only track I can't recall clearly is the final one, 'Deya Goddess'. I seem to remember it was a synthesizer-saturated ballad. Let's just hope HAPPIEST TIME will be remixed and re-released as soon as possible, so we can all check it out for ourselves!

Report this review (#170918)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8.0/10 Great

Daevid Allen solo is on ProgArchives!? Great! Well, to start with this, his best as far as what I have heard. This album has an incredibly strange vibe to it, more so a Gong album without the Jazz! Really! The aura is eerie and strange at times, with a cheap sounding synth riding throughout...but the musical arrangements are incredible at times. Basically I always find myselrf skipping past a good chunk of the album, not to say it is bad, it just never really fits my tastes for the time being.

The album begins with actual constructed song, and the greatness of Flamenco ZerO and Why Do We Treat Ourselves..., which are two of my favorite tracks ever, especially the latter. The Tally & Orlando bit is interesting, but very strange at the same time, and not so much an enjoyable track to go back to after a few listens. From See You... to I Am I usually do not recall much, and it is very much a mixed bag, from the strange aura synth to just rockish stuff like See You on the MoonTower. These tracks never seem to grip me as much, but I do enjoy listening to the album in full for it does give a full effect in the end.

Deya Goddess absolutely stunned me when I heard it. The song is the climax of the album and is Allen's best song I can recall hearing of all his albums. Again, the vibe has a sourness to it and a certain darkness mood, but in the end it really is a bright and positive song, with the Now is the happiest time of your life run getting stuck in your head on first listen. This song really put the kick back in this album for me, and whenever I go back to this I always listen to this track as soon as possible, I just love it!

Fans of Gong may find this a little harder to swallow, it doesn't have the jazz greatness backing it, and is really just something like if Daevid and Gilli worked together. Very spacy, very atmospheric and moody. The album has some incredible moments and melodies, though, and this brings it to a high status among opther albums by him.

Report this review (#170920)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Why I never took drugs ?

The third solo album from Daevid Allen is a semi-accoustic album. The accoustic songs are simple and children-rhymes like. Some interaction with some audience about Gong's Flying Teopot trilogy introduces us to ten minutes of interaction with small children. This may be a good acid trip idea. But it does not work when listening to it in a sofa and wide awake, trying to penetrate this album. A penetration that does not come up with much beef.

So......... The final track, Deya Goddess, is a good track though with it's Indian music feel. The same goes for the two opening tracks where we are treated to a good flamenco trip and then a good accoustic song called Why Do We Treat Ourselves Like We Do. It has some good flamenco too. The three following tracks Tally & Orlando Meet The Cockpot Pixie, See You On The Moontower and Poet For Sale makes me cringe. These self indulgent tracks does not work at all on a record. They are in short children rhymes and best reserved for kindergartens. The rest of the album is a mix of nodding along with a guitar and some pointless electro collage stuff.

Daevid Allen's mad ramblings is not for me, I am afraid.

2 stars

Report this review (#259440)
Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Daevid Allen's followup to Good Morning! is a much less ambitious affair. Dispensing with the services of the Gong guest stars and the unique sound of Euterpe from the previous album, the album is more acoustic focused, and suffers from being weighed down with muddled, substandard material. I suspect many listeners will switch off at Tally & Orlando Meet The Cockpot Pixie, an overlong and tedious track in which (to a repetitive and dull musical backing) Allen tries to explain the story of Radio Gnome Invisible to his son Orlando (who was but a small child at the time this came out). The overall impression given is of listening in to a touching family moment which didn't really need to be shared with the wider world.

The rest of the album sees Allen grinding on with his usual lyrical preoccupations with New Age spirituality and trying to convince people to be less cruel to each other, only the wit of the Gong days and the wisdom of the better lyrics on Good Morning! (such as Wise Man In Your Heart) appear absent. And with the musical backing as limp as it is, there's very little reason left to bother with this one.

Report this review (#554188)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This continues in a similar direction to the preceding album, Good Morning, using some of the same musicians (though not the full ensemble), with similar European folk influences, and still avoiding drumkit for the most part, although there is a greater role for percussion. The Planet Gong mythology returns here, though still mixed with the more direct moral language of Good Morning. There is also the incorporation of performance poetry, I rather enjoyed "Poet For Sale", and though I see it's divided reviewers here, I rather liked the inclusion of Daevid's children on "Tally & Orlando Meet The Cockpot Pixie". There is no standout highlight this time (like "Wise Man In Your Heart" on the last album), and a couple of slightly jarring moments (like "See You On The Moontower" which almost turns into conventional rock n roll), but generally I think anyone who enjoyed Good Morning should like this almost as much. A low four stars (probably more 3.5).
Report this review (#1417708)
Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Review Permalink

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