This lesser-known cult favorite is not only one of the most musically ambitious outings of Del Shannon's career, but also one of his most all-around consistent albums. The Further Adventures of Charles Westover finds Shannon embracing psychedelia in a personalized way: Instead of imitating the whimsy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or the creepy freak-outs of Their Satanic Majesties Request, he uses the cinematic quality of psychedelic pop to provide a vivid backdrop for his songwriting. For instance, "Silver Birch" uses a swirling mass of horns and densely layered backing vocals to add a haunting quality to its tale of an abandoned bride, and "Color Flashing Hair" uses vertiginous string motifs and churning horns to re-create the feelings of obsessive love described in the lyrics. Shannon's work on this album also differs from usual psychedelic fare because it mixes some earthier textures into its sonic brew: "Be My Friend" enhances its lusty plea for feminine companionship with wailing harmonica and gospel-tinged female backing vocals, and "River Cool" laces its swinging beat with some deliciously soulful organ licks. The overall effect is stunning, managing to fit the tag of psychedelic pop but still retaining the haunting, emotional kind of songwriting that distinguished Del Shannon's music.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco