Uncut (p.120) - "A record of esoteric psych-folk beauty as idiosyncratically compelling and weirdly wonderful as anything by Skip Spence..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/01/04, p.52) - Included in Mojo's The 67 Lost Albums You Must Own! - "Emotional, aching and gloriously daft in places, its stream of lo-fi consciousness spawned generations of bedroom strumming by moody suicidal peaceniks."
Record Collector (magazine) (pp.97-98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Valente's sole LP excursion into the then-vogue world of the singer-songwriter finds him conjuring
Producer: Bob Johnston.
Reissue producers: Barry Feldman, Dave Nives.
Recorded at Columbia Record Studios, Los Angeles, California from November 1967-April 1968. Originally released on Epic (26335). Includes liner notes by Ralph J. Gleason & Arthur Levy.
Dino Valente's sole album recalls the one issued by another San Francisco artist signed to CBS in the late '60s, Skip Spence: quirky, lyrically vague, folky yet psychedelic, and nearly devoid of commercial potential in spite of its largely pleasant (if moody) melodies and textures. Valente, however, was not as intriguing a lyricist as Spence, nor as intensely soulful a vocalist, and overall much sunnier in tone. Valente had a rather whiny voice, so it was wise to put so much echo on both his 12-string guitar (which accounts for most of the instrumentation on the record) and vocals, which both covered up some of his vocal deficiencies and added a sheath of mystery. Listening to his songs is like listening to some hippie trying to talk a vulnerable, confused, attractive girl, on the rebound from a failed romance, into taking up with him as a panacea to her problems: phrases are uttered and rejoinders offered, but one can't be sure exactly what the situation is or where it's leading. It's not the insufferable experience this description might lead you to expect, mostly because of the enticing (if similar-sounding) melancholy of the tunes. [The CD reissue added two previously unreleased tracks that are similar to the rest of the album in both mood and quality.] ~ Richie Unterberger