Songs Cycled - Van Dyke Parks
Songs Cycled Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This is the first solo studio release in 24 years for the pop singer-songwriter, who first gained fame for his work on Brian Wilson's SMiLE album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. May 6, 2013
    90
    Songs Cycled is opaque and entirely accessible. [Jun 2013, p.80]
  2. Jun 5, 2013
    80
    There's a handful of new material, all displaying superb arranger's skill. His unusual voice has improved too, broadening and mellowing from that nervous tenor of old. [May 2013, p.58]
  3. Aug 9, 2013
    80
    It carries the manic, youthful energy of Parks’s very best works, plants itself deep inside the listener’s brain as though tapping into some deep American (meaning in this case both North American and West Indian) musical unconscious, and magically holds together as a single, unified and exhilarating listening experience despite its meandering through a dauntingly wide range of material and approaches.
  4. Jul 16, 2013
    75
    There’s nothing musty about his arrangements, a sharp melding of pop melody and new-classical harmonics. Parks also brings a wry and pointed flair for political and social commentary.
  5. Aug 7, 2013
    70
    It seems unlikely that the artist will ever be widely recognized for his contribution, but in the meantime, Songs Cycled should provide energy and inspiration for VDP evangelists everywhere.
  6. Jul 22, 2013
    70
    Songs Cycled is a striking reminder of Van Dyke Parks' songwriting strength and deft arranging touch (see the reworking of his classic "The All Golden") for those already in the know; for others, it might just make the perfect introduction to a legend so ahead of his time that his 1968 masterpiece is just now getting its due.
  7. 60
    Those coming fresh to Parks may find his reedy voice, and his warping of time, requires some adjustment.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    Beautiful melodicism and ornate instrumentation combine to make a heady mixture, despite Van Dyke Parks voice which is an acquired taste, though well worth getting used to in order to access this achievement. Collapse