The sound of this album is a combination of baroque pop and psychedelic pop, with the band combining elements of both to create some of the most beautiful melodies and harmony singing. The album has a Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds feel to it, while The Beatles can also be heard, but one thing is for sure that when you listen to this album you can tell instantly that The Zombies have their own distinctive sound. Key aspects of the overall sound of this album include choral harmony singing, singing that is also often double tracked to create an amazing densely layered sound much like a church choir, the heavy use of classical piano and harpsichord, and a mellotron which creates the effect of baroque strings. Combine these elements with the singing of Colin Blunstone who projects a calmness in his delivery and you get what sounds like it should be a classical album, but what is actually instead a psychedelic pop record with an underlying baroque feel.
Melody is also a key component of the sound on this album and is something The Zombies do brilliantly on here. There infectious psychedelic pop as seen on tracks such as “Friends of Mine”, “Brief Candles”, and “I Want Her, She Wants Me” takes the listener to another place, and for me conjured up images of autumn (strange as that may seem), in particular the certain calmness and beauty that autumn brings. The combination of piano/keyboards, mellotron and harmony vocals combines so well and creates a beautiful pop feel which is like nothing else from the late-60s period, making this album standout in a unique way from the more experimental British psychedelia, as well as the drug-fuelled electric psychedelia of America.
At the time of its release Odessey and Oracle was overlooked completely in England and was viewed indifferently in music circles. But over time its reputation has grown significantly to the point that it is now considered a 60s classic and recognised as one of the great albums. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the eightieth greatest album of all time, while its popularity is also seen in that due to popular demand The Zombies play it in its entirety every year (yes they got back together). Odessey and Oracle represents the perfect pop album full of melody and harmony, and in my opinion even tops that overrated supposed masterpiece Sgt. Pepper in quality. I cannot recommend it enough as a 60s pop album and suggest you give it a spin, as it is might just be one of the most melodically beautiful albums you will ever hear.