Review of Van Dyke Parks – Songs Cycled (Bella Union)

VDParksArguably best known as the lyricist who collaborated with Brian Wilson on The Beach Boys Smile album, Van Dyke Parks is a pop genius in his own right. These 12 songs, a collection of previously released tracks from a series of 7-inch singles, are soaked in baroque-pop movements and filled out with lushly complex string and percussion arrangements. While Parks might not be the vocalist that his occasional partner Wilson is and was, his vocals and whimsical look at the world via his lyrics have an endearing quality to them that is definitely worth exploring.