Review by: Nina Anatchkova
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Did you know that in 1970, a hippie tarot set was published? It is named Morgan’s Tarot and features retro black and white images and New Age messages inspired by 60s “counterculture philosophy”. It was also intended to expand the consciousness of the reader apparently by departing from the structure of traditional tarot with images and insights that can be enjoyed in any order. Yeah, that tarot set is on mushrooms. And probably so was anybody else who expanded their consciousness back then. Or anyone talking about conspiracies. Although conspiracies are still hip, for some reason.
In reality, I don’t know what the peanut butter conspiracy was all about (maybe it prevented people from realising how yuck peanut butter truly is) but I can feel the air of 60s psychedelic importance radiating from every song on this record. This is helped, of course, by lead singer Barbara Robinson’s competent and sometimes hypnotic singing, and by the general confident playing in the trippy psychedelic vein and the tasty production. The songs are all well-crafted, of course, with nice variations in the driving rhythm, cool subversions in the chord changes, and quite enjoyable to feast your late-60s-sound-hungry ears on. They have probably blown minds or expanded consciousness way back in the day… or at least helped recruit some devout followers?… I don’t know.
In the present day, however, when I find even Morgan’s Tarot a bit of a bore and everything too trippy a bit one-note, this record is still an enjoyable listen and I suspect Barbara Robinson’s singing is a hugely contributing factor. So um, give it a listen and don’t buy into the conspiracy?
By the way, “It’s so Hard” from the bonus tracks edition of the record features some of the guys on lead vocals and the nice interplay between them and Barbara’s additions also deserves a listen. There is also “Peter Pan” which, well, it sounds quite lyrically naive. As probably does the rest of the record, if you pay attention to the lyrics, really. At least “Peter Pan” goes out on something of a waltzy tune?