The Lovin‘ Spoonful

Album Reviews:

1966: Hums of the Lovin‘ Spoonful

Hums of the Lovin‘ Spoonful

Rating: 5.9/10
Rated as
: Album
Album Status: for Genre-Enthusiasts
Released: 1966
Specific Genre: Pop Rock, Folk Pop
Main Genre: Pop, Pop Rock
: Rhythm&Blues, Electric Blues, Beat Music, Sunshine Pop, Country Pop
Label: Kama Sutra

1. Lovin‘ You 2. Bes‘ Friends 3. Voodoo in My Basement 4. Darlin‘ Companion 5. Henry Thomas 6. Full Measure 7. Rain on the Roof 8. Coconut Grove 9. Nashville Cats 10. 4 Eyes 11. Summer in the City
CD-Bonus Tracks: 12. Darlin‘ Companion (John Sebastian Solo Demo) 13. Rain on the Roof (Instrumental) 14. 4 Eyes (Alternate Take) 15. Full Measure (Instrumental) 16. Voodoo in My Basement (Instrumental) 17. Darlin‘ Companion (Alternate Take)

The days can’t be like the night

Allegedly a conceptual attempt to record a hodge-podge of styles: bits and pieces of sunshine pop, jug band rockabilly, Howlin’ Wolf-stabs at rhythm&blues (the borderline uncool “Voodoo in my Basement”), hippie folk pop, light beat music, bluegrassy nashville sounds… and while their fourth album (if you count the soundtracks) does leave you with the impression they were a musically versatile and fun bunch, this nonetheless remains in a limbo of hippie-in-jokes and smartass disorientation, sitting uncomfortable between homage and parody at times. The saving grace is Sebastian’s love for the styles – and while the beat music fluff of the B-side “Darling Companion’” doesn’t do a lot for me, there is something to say for the grape sugar-ode to youth romance of “Rain on the Roof”. And “Coconut Grove” is a very neat track of time-forgotten, hazily languid beach-psychedelia, adding lyrics to the instrumental “Lookin’ to Spy” from the soundtrack What’s Up, Tiger Lily? published two months before (which is arguably the more rewarding, consistent album).

Well, and there is the closer: “Summer in the City” is the definite statement of a slightly stoned beat culture about the sweltering heat of summer days leading up to the careless relieve of warm, tipsy nights of leather-clad but harmless young people in sunglasses congregating on roof tops for cool beers and flirty banter. I sure do love that song crystallizing this very specific feeling, in all its glorious pop-campiness.