The Neon Philharmonic

The Neon Philharmonic

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The Neon Philharmonic's 1969 debut, The Moth Confesses, is rightfully considered one of the stranger exponents of the sunshine pop scene. However, its less-celebrated 1970 follow-up, The Neon Philharmonic, is, if anything, even weirder. Composer/conductor Tupper Saussy's lyrics are even more obtuse and pretentious this time out, opening with the utterly bizarre "Are You Old Enough to Remember Dresden?" and closing with "F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Shakespeare," a rather drippy tale of college buddies who drift apart after graduation. As the lyrics become more overwrought, so too does the increasingly pseudo-classical music. Several songs are sung (by Don Gant, returning from the debut) to strictly orchestral arrangements. Unfortunately, Saussy's not an interesting enough melodicist to give these arrangements the same zip that lifts The Moth Confesses over its more ponderous patches; it's not surprising that the album's best song by far, "Forever Hold Your Peace," is the one that sounds the most like that album. Although the Neon Philharmonic released occasional singles for various labels over the next half-decade, this was their final full-length release.

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