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Sagittarius - The Blue Marble LP
The second and final album from Sagittarius was the first for the ambitious Together Records in 1969, but the label folded soon afterward, leaving The Blue Marble virtually unheard for over 30 years. Like its predecessor Present Tense, The Blue Marble is producer Gary Usher's (the Beach Boys, the Byrds) take on the decidedly late-'60s sunshine pop genre, and features members of the Millennium, including the legendary Curt Boettcher. The record opens with an interesting, intermittently discordant version of the Beach Boys' paean to childhood empowerment, "In My Room" (which Usher co-wrote with Brian Wilson). A new plaything, the Moog synthesizer, is employed on many of the numbers, and the results are distracting, leaving this period music even more dated. It's as if Usher used Robert Moog's invention to spruce up the weaker songs, instead of letting the tune carry the track. The country-tinged "Will You Ever See Me" showcases what Sagittarius could do with a strong melody, while the tempo-shifting "Gladys" is an intriguing anomaly of dark psychedelic pop.