Rod McKuen

The Love Movement

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The Love Movement is easily one of the most unusual albums created by Rod McKuen, an artist known for writing serious and poetic songs. McKuen composed and produced the assortment of instrumental and vocal pieces that comprise the album, which range from outright humor ("The Complete Madame Butterfly," "Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much") to lovely orchestral instrumentals ("The Love Movement"). The singing and instrumental solos are handled by a cast of performers with ridiculous pseudonyms like Flowers R. Goodforyou and Moltan Lava, and McKuen's distinctive voice is nowhere to be heard. Some of the instrumentals are fairly psychedelic, such as the sitar showcase "Eastward the Buffalo" and the spectacular "The Eighty-Third Psalm," a dissonant, scrambled waltz worthy of an actual avant-garde ensemble like United States of America. If McKuen's intention with The Love Movement was to show that he, too, could make freaky countercultural music, then he partly succeeds even though most of the album seems like a jokey put-on.