Now this is an unexpected treat, coming 32 years after most of the Serendipity Singers' success was past. All of the highlights of the group's five official Philips albums (including their Grammy-nominated debut) are here, with their two chart hits ("Don't Let the Rain Come Down," "Beans In My Ears"), but there's a lot that will surprise newcomers to the group's sound. The Serendipity Singers were patterned after the New Christy Minstrels, whom they acknowledge in a comical aside on "Little Brown Jug," and they could sing full-out in the Christies' "big-band folk" style ("Six Wheel Driver," "Freedom's Star" etc.). Lynn Weintraub's voice, in particular, was a big, wonderful instrument throughout those early sides, but their sound also tended to be softer and more ethereal than the Christies', ever so slightly closer in spirit to the Easy Riders or Peter, Paul & Mary. They also had a special knack for finding unusual songs -- this extended to Western-theme material ("Boots and Stetsons"), and that goes double for what could be considered the post-1965 "declining years"; by then, they were off the cutting edge of even the pop side of folk music, but managed to do a ton of wry Shel Silverstein compositions, the best of which (including the gorgeous "Some Days") are here. Most extraordinary are the four late singles included here, in which the group tries valiantly (and largely succeeds) to sound like the Mamas and the Papas, including a ravishing reinterpretation of Buddy Holly's "Maybe Baby" and a radiant rendition of Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life."
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder