Various Artists: Mixed Up Minds: Obscure Rock and Pop from the British Isles
Culled from a time when psychedelic pop was already passé, this 20-song set provides listeners with a pedestrian yet charming set of obscuros.
The songs and artists compiled on Mixed Up Minds are largely obscure because they arrived a few years late to the party: by the turn of the decade, sunny psychedelic pop had given way to the polar opposites of understated singer-songwriterdom and rowdy heavy metal. It's not exclusively a sin of bad timing, though: by and large the music contained on Mixed Up Minds lacks the distinctiveness, innovation and daring of psychedelia's most compelling creative forces (the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, etc.). These Brits are mainly focused on songcraft, adding "trippy" touches only to liven up the rather straightforward AM radio pop arrangements once in a while. Despite the rather pedestrian nature of the 20 tracks assembled here, there are close to no clunkers, and well-crafted touches like the swaying harmonies of Endaf Emlyn's "Goodbye 'Cherry Hill'" and the hooky chorus of Barlaston Down's "Always" are so deftly deployed it’s hard not to feel warmly content as a result.