The Pretty Things – Parachute

parachuteThe CD format makes this album seem cleverer than it is. Subtracting bonus tracks, the CD of Parachute is thirteen songs long, while the LP is ten. The first three cuts on side one of the LP are the first six tracks of the CD, averaging about 1:45 seconds in length, all meshing into a mini-suite. If the entire album were like this, Parachute would be something of a 60s marvel – letting each idea run out without padding, without over-extension, a kind of prog-rock hot singles compilation, or a prescient play on what the Residents did in 1980 with The Commercial Album – forty tracks, a minute long each, one chorus and one verse.

But the realization that they are long songs broken up by the CD format lowers the cleverness quotient. Instead of separate songs that are just as long as they have to be, they’re more typical 60s experiments. Yet these tracks are the ones that work on Parachute – ten glorious minutes that devolve into two six-minute-plus jams – about twelve minutes of 60s grooves others could do better, that no one really needs. The initial burst of experimentation and psychedelic interest isn’t carried through, despite an engaging (if languid) closing track.
Rating: C

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