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--John Jesitus

Donovan
Sutras
(American)

I didn't mean to laugh at this record. After all, Mr. Leitch cut quite a few memorable, if exceedingly fey, hits in his day: Think about "Mellow Yellow" or "Sunshine Superman" for a couple of seconds and they'll start zipping from one side of your cranium to the other, whether you want them to or not. Director Gus Van Sant's use of our boy's dorky "Season of the Witch" over the credits of the enjoyable Nicole Kidman vehicle To Die For raised my hopes, too. But even the assistance of Rick Rubin, the American Records honcho who successfully resurrected Johnny Cash's career a couple of years back, can't save these wispy patience-testers. While listening to Donovan gently whimper "I love you like the sea" at the beginning of the impossibly effete, utterly typical "Everlasting Sea," I flashed back to the scene in Animal House where John Belushi smashes a sensitive folkie's guitar to bits against a staircase, then shrugs and says, "Sorry." So am I.

--Roberts

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