The Airplanes most psychedelic and experimental album.
Chet Fakir | DC | 03/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After Bathing At Baxters, the third album for the Jefferson Airplane is the Airplane at their most psychedelic and experimental. Great songs are joined together by sixties stoner sound effects and studio trickery to make a wonderful continuum of quintesential JA song writing and sonic frivolities that run from the sublime to the annoying. It's uneven to be sure, but Baxters contains some of JA's best songwriting in Martha, Ballad Of You Me & Pooneil, Watch Her Ride and others. Although some folks will say Baxters is really dated due to the indulgent psychedelic interludes, it's also really strong. I'll agree and also say Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles are dated too, so's XTC, so's Mozart, but that doesn't detract from the intrinsic excellence of their music. Baxters is truly a creature of its time and no less enjoyable for it. It's the second album in the triumverate of indispensable Jefferson Airlane albums: Surealistic Pillow, ABAB, and Crown Of Creation. Volunteers is pretty darn good too. So get out your tie dyes, granny glasses, beads and Beatle boots, tune in, turn on, and drop out. It's never too late to just say yes."
Airplane Takes Over the Controls
B. Niedt | Cherry Hill, NJ United States | 03/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After two well-produced folk-rock flavored albums, Jefferson Airplane decided to pull out the stops (not coincidentally, during the "Summer of Love") for their second release of 1967. In contrast to "Surrealistic Pillow"'s perfectly-crafted three-minute pop-rock songs, "Baxter's" allowed them to stretch out creatively with freewheeling song structures, experimental engineering, and at least one extended jam ("Spare Chaynge"). And the results, frankly, were a bit mixed. But listening to this on CD for the first time, and in its entirety for the first time in many years, it struck me how brilliant it often is. With its loose suite-like structure, it really demands to be heard in its entirety, rather than chopped up as it has been on so many collections. From the shout-out energy of "Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil", to the silly Zappa-esque "A Small Package of Value...", to Marty Balin's rousing "Young Girl Sunday Blues" and the gorgeous "Martha", there's a lot to like contained here. There's also Grace Slick's literate and witty tunes "rejoyce" and "Two Heads", as well as "Wild Tyme (H)", "The Last Wall of the Castle", "Watch Her Ride"and the trippy-day-in-the-park theme of "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon". The band was never looser in the studio, and this was a transitional album for them from their folky roots into a more rock-oriented, and later politically-charged direction. Clocking in at about 43 minutes, it was also one of the longer single-album releases of its time. And the wonderful cover art by under-appreciated cartoonist R. Cobb is second only to "Volunteers" as the band's best album cover. A later re-release of this album also contains some bonus tracks."