Kula Shaker’s Pilgrim’s Progress has been out for about two weeks now, and although I hadn’t set my expectations very high back then, I told you guys in April that I’d check it out anyway and let you know what I thought.
At first I sort of skipped through looking for something that struck me. What I was probably looking for was the classic Kula Shaker: over-earnest Hare Krishna mysticism mixed with hashed-out psychedelic pop (emphasis on the hashed-out). But with the exception of the eighth track, “Figure It Out,” I couldn’t really find it. And frankly, “Figure It Out” is not that striking.
But what you get instead with Pilgrim’s Progress, at least at its best moments, is a lot closer to sober folk. “Ophelia,” “All Dressed Up,” and “To Wait Til I Come” are actually pretty good. Like much of the album, each of those tracks, while still fanciful in ways that Crispian Mills can’t seem to resist, are plaintive little songs that would work really well in an all-acoustic setting.
Pilgrim’s Progress is uneven, but despite the lyrical goofiness of songs like “Peter Pan R.I.P.,” “Modern Blues,” and “Barbara Ella,” I’d say it’s worth a 40 minute investment of your time.
So give it a listen. If for no other reason, do it for Miss Bliss.