David McWilliams

The Days of David McWilliams

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This 22-track compilation is largely drawn from the three albums McWilliams released on Major Minor in 1967-68, tagging on a B-side apiece from 1968 and 1969. Although it's agreeable folk-pop-rock, it's hard to get worked up about it, due both to its rather generic qualities and its obvious inferiority to the obvious comparison, Donovan. "Days of Pearly Spencer," with a more memorable melody and darker, more forceful atmosphere than anything else on the disc, remains the standout in McWilliams's repertoire (and is of course included here, as the leadoff track). Shades of Bob Dylan and Bob Lind can also be detected, though always in a somewhat less dangerous, more pop-inclined slant than any of the singer-songwriters with whom he might have shared similarities. As for some of the better tracks, "Redundancy Blues" bears some resemblance, melodically, to the (subsequent) Al Stewart track "The Ballad of Mary Foster," while "Hiroshima" is an early Donovan-Dylan-style look at nuclear danger, though with an effective, almost jazzy uptempo rock-baroque arrangement.

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