Review: Souvenirs of a Life Recalled by Children of Minerva

NB/Disclosure: I was given a copy of the album to review for my blog by my friend, Mick Cantone, founder of Children of Minerva.

My friend Mick Cantone is a huge classic rock fan and makes music that is heavily inspired by music of the era. In 2020, he formed a group called Children of Minerva, which was originally a collaboration between him and a friend/songwriting partner named Amy Green, from Portland. After she left the group, Mick looked at it as a new chapter for his music project, calling it Mark 2, and turned it into a revolving cast of musicians and songwriters who collaborate with him to create the baroque pop/psychedelic music of his dreams. Not only is Mick a musician, he’s also a painter and he did the album artwork for Souvenirs of a Life Recalled. A detail oriented person, the CD (with both stereo and mono mixes) is packaged beautifully in a gatefold and the CD itself has a cool yellow splatter design you can see on the album cover if you fold it out and look at it. It’s an album that’s almost a year in the half in the making and Mick ensured the two mixes sound perfect no matter how you listen to it, whether on a stereo or headphones – just make sure it’s a good sound system so you can appreciate the reverb and hear all the instruments. Perfectionism paid off and the album is here and it’s Children of Minerva’s best work yet! It will come out on August 5.

In my opinion, the album is best enjoyed on headphones and it’s evident in the first seconds of the album. The intro to the opening track “A Tale of Lost Time” has a “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” like sound to it. It’s hard to pick favourite tracks and it’s one of those albums that I like more with each listen, but if I had to pick, the highlights are “Tinderbox Fair”, “A Song For Amanda”, “Nevermore Sweet Lenore”, and “Little Bird”. Overall, the album takes you back to 1967-1968, peak 60s music and fashion – when music turned psychedelic and fashion became more colourful and flamboyant with the dandies and hippies. Overall, this album reminds me of the best music of that era, give or take a year (because that’s the thing with eras, there’s no cutoffs and definite beginnings and endings, it all sort of blends together like the songs on a Pink Floyd concept album) with the songs reminding me of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles), Wonderwall Music (George Harrison), A Gift from a Flower to a Garden (Donovan), Their Satanic Majesties Request (The Rolling Stones), Odessey and Oracle (The Zombies), Days of Future Passed (The Moody Blues), Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys), The Book of Taliesyn (Deep Purple), In The Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson), The Madcap Laughs (Syd Barrett), All of Us (Nirvana), and July’s debut album – what a beautiful mix of albums this reminds me of! The album is great music for chill nights in a colourful room with a star projector and lava lamps. Of the two mixes, I prefer the stereo mix because I love reverb and how it makes a song sound more trippy.

You can purchase a CD copy of the album or a digital copy of the stereo mix of the album on Children of Minerva’s Bandcamp when it comes out on Friday, August 5. The mono mix will be available to stream on all streaming services except Spotify.