Epic Soundtracks' albums went out of print years ago and I've been wishin' and hopin' some enterprising label would see right to get his overlooked material back into the world again. Thankfully, Easy Action sub-label Troubadour has stepped up with a top notch presentation of highlights from his career along with a bonus disc of live tracks and rarities for the faithful. His is a sad story but he will live forever in the minds of his fans who connect with his tales of heartbreak, struggle and sometimes hope. He sings from the depths of his soul.
"Simply put, it's an excellent selection of songs that well demonstrates his heart-on-sleeve pop. Deceptively simple confections like "Farmer's Daughter" (whose main character reappears in "Emily May [You Make Me Feel So Fine]"), "You Better Run" and "Wishing Well" reveal a student of pop music who can channel his inspirations (Brian Wilson, Alex Chilton, Carole King, the Monkees) into music that sounds most like himself. Intricate mini-symphonies like "Fallen Down" and "Big Apple Graveyard" indicate more ambition than Soundtracks is usually given credit for, with an attention to detail that belies the raw emotions on display. Ballads like "There's a Rumour," "Sweet Sixteen" and "Waiting for the Train" tend to strip down to little more than voice and piano (or guitar), giving the listener no barrier between Soundtracks and what he's feeling." Blurt
"Despite his avant-punk roots as half of Swell Maps, the late Epic Soundtracks was a pop tunesmith at heart, and a big heart it was. The first disc of this double set collects the best from his three solo albums, with clear shades of Bacharach and especially the Zombies. The second disc of rarities is highlighted by his Jonathan Richman-esque “I Wish I Had a Girlfriend” and covers of the Beatles’ “I’ll Be Back” and James & Bobby Purify’s “I’m Your Puppet”. His stripped-down, vulnerable delivery is entirely suited to the lyrics of both." - Sound And Vision