"If I ventured in the slipstream,
between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack,
And the ditch in the back roads stop.
... To be born again
In another world,
In another world,
In another time."
A progression from yesterday's otherworldly Flaming Lips to an altogether different place and time. Continuing our astral theme, this 1968 masterpiece by the Belfast artist was the opener his second solo album. It was a true moment when Van found his identity, escaping the pressures of pop and rock that had come with Them, and after disputes and tensions with his former collaborator and label boss Bert Berns, who had died in 1967. He sought something new, and so indeed this song seems to be about rebirth, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and certain reaches another world in its extraordinary lightness of touch, elevation of mood and feeling.
The musicianship too is extraordinary, somehow taking a main riff alongside a mixture of independent but co-dependent melodies you might find in a brass and horn traditional jazz band, but instead playing them on classical guitar, flute, double bass and other stringed instruments to create something that is also folk, but again nothing like anything before it. And then there is Van's voice - still powerful like a loud saxophone from his days with Them, but here also finding moments of whispering softness and incredibly maturity at the age of just 23. A truly brilliant song to open an equally brilliant album.
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