Friday, August 20, 2010
This is the last psychedelic album I'll be posting before taking a little break and then resuming my usual pop shtick. I gotta say, this is a truly unusual and phantasmagorical album, even though at this point I feel almost a little catatonic using the word "unusual." However, it really is and I can't think of a better word to describe it. Psychotropia's abstract melodies sound at once both classic and futuristic, its unlike anything you've ever heard.
The songs on this compilation were written and recorded throughout the 80's and 90's, but most were never released until Psychotropia. One of the more characterizing properties of Nicely's music making process is the shear amount of time and meticulous effort he puts into recording many of his songs. "Hilly Fields (1892)" took almost a year before a finalized version was completed. He has stated in interviews that other songs were polished for months and months before completion as well. There are layers upon layers of subtle sounds (the vocal effects especially) on each track and it's best absorbed with headphones; you can really hear how astoundingly fleshed out Nicely's work is with a good pair of Sennheisers.
Since this album is blatantly about psychedelic drugs, I'll share a personal anecdote in relation. One night at Strawberry Fields, I unknowingly ingested 8 grams (give or take) of some very potent mushroom tea and afterward played this album while driving to 7-11 with my friend Kelly as they started to kick in rather forcefully. As I waited for her in the car I remember listening to "On the Beach (The Ladder Descends)" and melting into my car seat for 4 minutes. It's since become one of my favorite songs, and if I was ever held at gunpoint and forced to list them, it'd definitely make the top 50. Overall, Psychotropia is soaring with psilocybin spiked imagination and nearly spotless, a real nugget which I highly recommend even to those who don't normally like psychedelic tunes.