The Human Holiday – Slight of Mind – audio drama – Fresh! FR-702 (HDCD) [Distr. by Allegro] [10/12/10] ****:
If you’re a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or The Firesign Theater, you’ll love this audio drama, which first saw light on LP back in the 1980s. Back then J. Gordon Holt of Stereophile called it a masterpiece. It’s a sort of a cross between a Tupperware party and a consciousness seminar. The stereo fidelity is excellent in this quirky radio play in the British style. It is a giant promotional presentation to a huge audience of souls in eternity, marketing a commercial, highly designed period of incarnation as a human being on earth. Although there are also testimonials from other souls who have been trilobites, flowers, and other lesser creatures on earth, the ultimate in incarnation luxury is promoted to be the Human Holiday.
The voice acting, sound effects and musical score are extremely well done, and full of trenchant sharp-witted satire almost the equal of Voltaire. The Human Holiday would probably appeal strongly to humanists and atheists. I liked the quote from the British lady who said of her human incarnation, “You don’t know really where you’ve come from and you don’t know where you’re going to, and while on earth you don’t really know what you should do. Then before you figure it out it’s all over.” The HDCD encoding on this sub-label of Reference Recordings assures the maximum fidelity out of the standard CD format, and this is the first time the radio play has been made available on CD. I don’t know what the list price is, but there are similar productions available inexpensively for download online now, so it would probably depend on the strength of your interest in this production whether you would purchase the physical CD or not.
– John Sunier