Sunday, May 17, 2009

Perry Leopold – Experiment in Metaphysics (1970)

Experiment in Metaphysics is one of the rarest and most sought-after artifacts of the hippie era. Recorded live during a five-hour session in the basement of a shoe-repair shop in June of 1970, most of the 300 original copies of Experiment in Metaphysics were simply given away in one afternoon, yet, inexplicably, bootleg copies of the album later sprang up half-way around the world. The reason for the album's staying power is apparent: the music is gorgeous, first-rate progressive folk.
Like much of the youth countercultural scene of the times, Leopold can occasionally give into mystical pretentiousness. Experiment in Metaphysics has moments -- namely the spoken-word monologue in the middle of the mostly stellar opening cut, "The Absurd Paranoid" -- of philosophical meandering. Still, even those moments maintain a period charm.

Each song, even the instrumental cuts, feels like a story, with beginnings and endings and all kinds of interesting ideas and storylines sandwiched in between. The album is a relic that has not lost one iota of its power. (


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