Sunday, March 2, 2008
The Millenium - Begin (1968)
From what I've heard of the sunshine pop of the 60s, the Millennium's Begin could very well be the pinnacle of the genre. The Millennium was a studio supergroup headed by producer Curt Boettcher, who was known for his work with the Association. He formed the group while recording Present Tense, an album by producer Gary Usher's very similar studio pop supergroup, Sagittarius. This would be the Millennium's sole album, as it proved to be too strange for pop radio, yet too pop for underground radio. Begin is song after song of carefully crafted pop with dense instrumentation and ridiculously good melodies and harmonies. This shit will be stuck in your head for weeks, but in a good way. The production is extremely impressive, sounding polished but not overwhelmingly so. There are many psychedelic moments in the album, but it is definitely a pop record first and foremost. "Karmic Dream Sequence #1" is probably the most far out song on the record and it is pulled off well, sounding like a milder version of S.F. Sorrow-era Pretty Things. One of the best moments of the album comes right at the start with "Prelude." Innocent harpsichord chimes away and is suddenly interrupted by a nasty drum beat that sounds like a sampled jazz breakbeat from some 90s hip hop. It's definitely an unexpected way to start the record.