Sean Bonniwell made a name for himself in the 1960s with garage gurus the Music Machine, so this transformation to thoughtful singer-songwriter material in the final hours of that decade—to say nothing of his newfound moniker (he was born Thomas Sean Bonniwell)—must have inspired a few quizzical looks. Featuring lush production from Vic Briggs (Eric Burdon & the Animals) and material that veers toward the painfully earnest, Close didn’t do much business upon its release. Bonniwell, who passed away in late 2011, estimated that the record, originally released on Capitol, never got outside California. That’s really not surprising. The songs—aside from the haunting “Something to Be” and “Where It Belongs”—are pleasant but forgettable, inoffensive and unobtrusive, not unlike supermarket music.
// Notes from the Road
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