Fred Neil

Sessions

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Sessions was a peculiar record that seemed to find Neil losing his focus to some degree, even as he increased his appetite for experimentation with arrangements and songwriting. The loose, informal feel of most of the cuts suggested that the performances were rehearsals or jams, rather than finely honed finished products; indeed, the take number of each track was appended onto the songs' actual titles. This meant that the virtues of compositions like "Fools Are a Long Time Coming," which would have been quite good if edited down, were a bit obscured by the swirling layers of guitars and casual execution. Others, like "Merry Go Round," "Roll On Rosie," and the interminable "Look Over Yonder," meandered for minutes on end in search of a definite groove or tempo, dallying with raga-type improvisations at times. Neil's vocal genius, however, remained intact, and the best two cuts were the most straight-ahead: "Felicity" is a nice oblique meditation-cum-love song, and the cover of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Somebody to Love" is effective.

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