by Rob O'Connor
The Zombies broke up as "Time of the Season" began its eternal reign on radio and singer Colin Blunstone took a job at an insurance company. The lure of the cubicle versus the recording studio eventually tipped in favor of his recording this 1971 solo album. With the members of Argent backing him on three tracks and ex-Zombie Rod Argent producing (along with the up-and-coming Tony Visconti), Blunstone put together this tuneful collection that features enough stringed orchestration caressing his breathy vocals to make this a lost "lite-FM" contender. Because the first two singles "Mary, Won't You Warm My Bed" and "Caroline Goodbye" flopped, it wasn't until "Say You Don't Mind" became a U.K. hit that Blunstone figured he wasn't going back to the actuary tables. His work would become spotty after his 1972 release, Ennismore. There's an ethereal creepiness throughout One Year, however, that makes it fascinating. (And Water's reissue is beautifully packaged and mastered.) Blunstone never kicks out the jams, but he snoozes atop them with a very cool narcotic, post- Odyssey and Oracle buzz.
Rob O'Connor writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.