Morning Glory

Two Suns Worth

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The popularity of California rock bands with both female and male vocals was simply immense in the wake of the Mamas & the Papas and Jefferson Airplane. Morning Glory pay significant tribute to both bands on their obscure and only LP, though you can certainly hear some Byrds in some of the guitar licks, as well as traces of Bay Area psychedelic groups like Moby Grape in some of the arrangements. It's well-sung (with the sole woman in the group, Gini Graybeal, handling most of the lead vocals) and tightly played, with Abe "Voco" Kesh, most famous for his work with Blue Cheer, handling the production. The problems are a little predictable for bands heavily influenced by California heavyweight groups of the era, but they're present nonetheless: a lack of top-flight songwriting in particular, and an absence of overwhelming personality in general. As the brief blurb on the back of the 2007 CD reissue on Fallout aptly notes, it's heavier than the Mamas & the Papas, though their influences can certainly be heard in both the harmonies and the earnest romanticism of songs like "Need Someone" and (with its give-take male-female banter) "Hey Little Girl." At the same time, it's not as far-out as the Airplane at their most psychedelic, though a tune like "Stone Good Day" is almost drenched with the utopian California hippie spirit. If you just love the surface characteristics of the California pop-psych sound, non-sunshine pop division, they're here in abundance: the bright male-female harmonies, the squiggly distorted guitar, the slightly off-kilter questing philosophical lyrics, the occasional son-of-Roger McGuinn electric 12-string guitar, and the occasional surprise (the harpsichord in "I See a Light" being the most pleasing of those). There's nothing as compelling as this style can be at its best, however, leaving you with the feeling this outfit would have been best heard as a warm-up act for their obvious inspirations.

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