Some of his best work
Daniel Lisk | Chicago,IL | 08/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I want to first say that I was not very familiar with this, Donovan's 2nd release. I was alway's able to hear the majority of the later works at my buddy Dan's house, and of course knew he started out as very much the acoustic guitar/folk singer type heard on Universal Soldier, but I was not prepared for this. Several years ago I was lucky enough to see Donovan at Chicago's Park West. He talked about how he went back to re-learn some of his older material and had forgotten how intricate some of it was even though it might seem fairly simple at first blush (he liked to tell a story before each song...way cool). I was amazed at the songs he played that night which I'd never heard before. Years later, I get this and realize that it contains many of those same songs. The atmosphere he creates on this disc is almost too beautiful, too rich, for words. It's the musical equivalent of having a friend share their deepest feelings with you. I found it very emotional from start to finish. While it doesn't have the overt psychedelia of his subsequent releases, it nonetheless is so amazing in its brilliance that it carries all the Donovan trademarks he was to become known for. In fact, you will probably hear some songs you heard before but forgot about. I could go song by song, but I think the best comment I could make is about Circus Of Sour where he spontaneously lets out a laugh in the middle of the tune. It's one of those rare warm moments that makes the listener realize that the performance is often as important as the song itself. Don't be afraid to get this if you aren't a huge folk music fan; it transcends the genre while at the same time remaining within it. The additional bonus tracks comprise the Universal Soldier EP and are the icing on this cake."
The Magician's Name is Donovan
Nancy Sherburne | Tucson, Arizona, USA | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being born in 1949, I grew up in the sixties, and was caught up in the Folk movement of the Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and the lesser-known Phil Ochs. In the midst of these protest singers was the gentle, mystical sound of a young Scotsman named Donovan. Of all his recordings, my favorites were Fairytale, Catch the Wind, and A Gift from a Flower to a Garden. So now I am one down, two to go. I love his effortless way of singing, and the soothing sound of the flute. The imagery of Circus of Sours, the delicacy of Summer Day Reflection Song, the sadness of Ballad of Geraldine (Battle? Was your proofreader napping on the job?), and the power of Universal Soldier all create an absolutely beautiful listening experience. How fortunate we are Donovan had the ability to take a chance on his songwriting and singing skills and enrich our lives and souls with his magic.