7-Tease/Slow Down World

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This CD could almost have been subtitled "The Lost Years," defining the period in which Donovan's records barely even made it into stores so that they could be ignored by the public -- that had been the fate of Essence to Essence (which actually made it into stores), and 7-Tease and Slow Down World -- each died an absolute commercial death in its wake. More's the pity, because there's a lot of beautiful (even gorgeous) and clever music here, a big chunk of it about as good as anything that Donovan ever put out. The zeitgeist behind the songs on these two albums may throw people who are accustomed to his '60s material, when Donovan had a wide listenership and was in sync with the times; here he's singing against his times (and mostly against indifference and self-involvement), and he is so beguiling musically and lyrically, that one feels a real sense of tragedy that these albums weren't more widely heard. They get their best hearing in some 30 years on this disc, which is something of a must-own CD, not only for fans of the artist but also for more general folk and folk-rock listeners, who will likely be pleasantly surprised by what they hear. The sound is excellent and the annotation by Alan Robinson is very good, though he does botch the account of Donovan's early years with Columbia Records.

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