Fairytale [Castle 2002]

by: Donovan

Donovan's second album found the Scottish folkie in possession of his own voice, a style of earnest, occasionally mystical musings indebted neither to Woody Guthrie nor Bob Dylan. True, Fairytale's highlights -- "Sunny Goodge Street," "Jersey Thursday," and "The Summer Day Reflection Song" -- use a sense of impressionism pioneered by Dylan, but Donovan flipped Dylan's weariness on its head. His persona is the wistful hippie poet, continually moving on down the road, but never bitter about the past. The folkie "Colours," already a hit before the album's release, is also here (though without Donovan's harmonica). A few of his songs are inconsequential and tossed-off ("Oh Deed I Do," "Circus of Sour"), but a few of these ("Candy Man" especially) succeed too, thanks to Donovan's effervescent delivery. [A 2002 Castle reissue added six bonus tracks, including a version of "Universal Soldier" and the B-side "Hey Gyp (The Slowness)."] ~ John Bush

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