This is a reissue of a ‘soundtrack based on a train journey Parks took in 1955’ and as a result at times has all the sickeningly- sweet string laden schmaltz of the soundtrack to a Tom and Jerry cartoon dissected by bursts of tremendous melody. Tracks like ‘The Old Joe Clark’ burst with all the invention and old timey tunefulness of his best work on ‘Smile’ but Parks never stays still for long and the track veers off somewhere else before you know it. ‘Into the Gloaming’ and ‘Forgotten Not Gone’ hint at ‘Cabinessence’ like atmospheres with banjo’s plucking merrily and there are moments of true musical beauty with some delicious chord changes.
This more soundtrack-based work doesn’t interest me as much as his vocal endeavours, the sound of his thin voice tends to ground his more whimsical musical ideas which here are given to flying off into all directions. A true maverick and preposterously talented, Parks music won’t appeal to everyone, there are several moments here where I rush to my feet shouting ‘THIS MAN IS BRILLIANT’ and others I despair at him but for fans of meticulously arranged orchestral soundtrack work then there will be plenty to enjoy.