Discounting their childhood releases when the brothers lived in Australia, this is the Bee Gees’ second album on Atco Records, and it picks up where the brilliant first album left off.
The psychedelic touches are still intact, but the band seemed to take a few steps away from their more soulful side, replaced by Robin’s developing penchant for melancholy. Gone are songs meant to suit a singer like Otis Redding, such as “To Love Somebody” and “I Can’t See Nobody,” replaced with morose tales of regret like “Really and Sincerely” and “And the Sun Will Shine”.
The album features two hit singles, whereas the debut had four. As such, “Horizontal” is not quite as brilliant as its predecessor, but it has more than enough to recommend it. It is full of strange and unique lyrical references that border somewhere between simple observation and existentialism. For instance, “World” and the title song “Horizontal” suggest a penchant for self-analysis, as filtered through a kaleidoscope. These songs begin and end the album, thus sandwiching everything else into their framework. The result is a charming period piece that conveys the intelligent side of 1968-era hippie self-awareness.
And the Sun Will Shine
Lemons Never Forget
Really and Sincerely
Birdie Told Me
With the Sun in My Eyes
The Earnest of Being George
The Change is Made
Words (bonus track)
February 1968 - Billboard Charted #12