Five Man Electrical Band

Five Man Electrical Band

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This is kind of a nice surprise. Despite how dorky they look on the cover, the Five Man Electrical Band clearly had some talent, even if they were a little low on originality. Clearly influenced by the Lovin' Spoonful and the Turtles, even if they didn't quite have the sparkle of those groups, they even cover a Garry Bonner-Alan Gordon song, "Fancy Dancin' Man," which, with a more expansive arrangement, might have been a hit. The problem here is that this group just didn't quite have the vocal blend of the Turtles. The ideas are there, but the execution falls just a little flat. Les Emmerson shows himself to be a fine Beatles-inspired songwriter, and he indeed has his moments. With better singers, this could have really been something. One of the album's highlights is the Nilsson-esque "Maple Lane," which is one of the most charming tracks on the set.