Black Music Matters Festival

The Byrds

Byrdmaniax – 2000 (Columbia/Legacy)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

"Byrdmaniax" turned out to be so far ahead of its time that its vision continues to outstrip the ability to appreciate it. Although it's not so completely off-track in retrospect, "Byrdmaniax" was head-scratchingly confusing in 1971, coming just months after "(Untitled)." McGuinn's honest assessment of the album today makes it difficult to understand the truly strange twists and turns the album takes, and Terry Melcher's production doesn't make the process any easier. There are bright moments ("Jamaica Say You Will," "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician," "I Trust"), but they come at sparse intervals. The three bonus tracks, including a stripped down "Pale Blue," and a nice take on "Just Like a Woman," give the reissue a little more appeal.