Pretty psychedelic pop abounds on Lavender Lane, the latest album from the Flower Machine. Leader
Peter Quinnell has a grasp on mid-tempo, mildly trippy folk rock as firm as a
teacher’s on the arm of a student caught smoking. The problem is that pretty
psychedelic pop abounds everywhere. Quinnell’s melodies, most of which seem to
be based on the Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone,” are catchy enough, but not so
memorable you’ll be humming them over other, stronger artists’ work. His
arrangements are lush but not striking, presenting a soft bed of psych without
any sense of surprise. There’s nothing particularly wrong with tunes like “The
Tangerine Albatross,” “L.A.
in the Rain” and the semi-explosive “Blown,” mind you – they’re nice enough and
show real skill in performing this kind of music. Fans of the style will
certainly gain at least momentary pleasures while the disk spins, but Lavender Lane is unlikely to displace
other, superior records of the same style in your personal queue.
“L.A. In the Rain” MICHAEL TOLAND