"Orange, sugar, chocolate, hot cinnamon and lovely things an
Laszlo Matyas | 05/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If nothing else, Love's debut is probably the group's coolest album. For one thing, its cover is a wonderful addition to the "mid 60s sneering rock star" sweeps (the mid 60s were a great time for sneers). Of course, Dylan and the Stones still have a lock on first and second place, but these guys are still up there. On top of that, the album's aesthetic is just wicked awesome: It's a combination of disaffected garage punk, dreamy proto-psych, Byrds influenced folk rock, and smart, soulful pop. Arthur Lee's vocals are perched somewhere between wildcat and wise man, while John Echols' and Bryan MacLean's guitar runs jangle and scream. Combine that with the suitably loose `n' ready rhythm section of Ken Forssi and Alban Pfisterer (oh, of only I could pick my last name!), and you've got yourself a hipper-than-hip li'l rock outfit.
The songs are cool, too. "My Little Red Book" makes the grade by virtue of being a garage punk cover of a Burt Bacharach tune, but authorship and style aside, it's still a great tune. It's got this great throbbing bass/drum/rhythm guitar thing going, and Lee's throaty bellow is just about perfect. Elsewhere, we've got a haunting drug addiction ballad with a melody that's vaguely reminiscent of "House Of The Rising Sun" ("Signed D.C."), as well as the poignant rumination of "A Message to Pretty." There's a suitably rollicking version of "Hey Joe," and a similarly rollicking, suspiciously familiar tune by the name of "My Flash On You." Best of all is Bryan's eerily beautiful "Softly To Me."
This probably won't be your favorite Love album- people tend to prefer Forever Changes- but it's still a great debut, and a wonderful rock album in its own right."
Is there a better pop record?
M. SMITH | Music Heaven | 07/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A preferred pop classic and every good as early 60's Stones cuts--Lee sounding a lot like (Mick) Jagger.
And if they were the West Coast's VU, Arthur Lee's tunes were more accessible than the Velvets, even though they shared common melancholic themes ("signed DC," "Message to Pretty," "Mushroom Clouds"). If Arthur Lee was thinking about death on the late (and weaker)"Forever Changes," he certainly wasn't promoting dropping out and tripping in San Francisco here."