Daevid Allen

Now Is the Happiest Time of Your Life

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The follow-up to Good Morning is another tranquil, organic outing by Allen that re-introduces his imaginary green hero, Zero, from the Gong trilogy. Allen is his usual playful self, although by this time the flying teapot/pothead pixie fixation was getting a little stale. No matter, since the music wafts along at a casual pace, with unusual sounds such as tablas by Sam Gopal and harp by Marianne Oberascher.

Despite his seeming frivolity, Allen has always had a vein of counterculture protest running through his music, and this comes to fruition in "Poet for Sale," a song that Allen directs with venom toward the business end of music. "Only Make Love If You Want To" is a hypnotic piece driven by a carousel-sounding synthesizer and Allen's sly vocals. "I Am" is an 11-minute musical rendering of a Daevid Allen morning meditation from his home in Deya, Majorca. Like "Wise Man in Your Heart" from Good Morning, this tune harkens to the spacy side of Gong, with Allen's patented glissando guitar creating a serene, meditative state. The record closes with the acoustic "Deya Goddess," dedicated to the moon goddess Diana. It's an appropriate coda to Now Is the Happiest Time of Your Life, one of the most pleasant records to spring from the fertile mind of rock's oldest and most overlooked hippie poet.

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