Love - Forever Changes - Review
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critics' view

The third Love LP arrived in November ’67 and was co-produced by the group’s leader, Arthur Lee. Ever the perfectionist, the septet had been trimmed back to a quintet during the year, and he even felt it necessary to draft in session substitutes, keeping existing group member’s on their toes. Guitarist Bryan MacLean steps up with the album’s major highlight, “Alone Again Or”, a truly enduring masterpiece. However Arthur’s psychology works, the results are terrific on “Forever Changes”, an LP which is even classier than last year’s “Da Capo”, which is no mean feat. Less psychedelic than its’ predecessor, this set instead relies on a purer, more contemporary pop template, with a massive strings and horns section beautifully orchestrated by David Angel, acting upon Arthur’s hummed, whistled and sung directives!

Pete Johnson of the Los Angeles Times astutely commented that the album “can survive endless listening with no diminishing either of power or of freshness”, while noting “parts of the album are beautiful; others are disturbingly ugly, reflections of the pop movement towards realism”. On “Red Telephone”, when Arthur sings “They’re locking him up today, they’re throwing away the key, I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow – you or me?” you know exactly what Pete means. “Oh the snot has caked against my pants, it has turned into crystal” (the opening lyric on “Live And Let Die”) cements the deal. As revealed lyrically underneath these bright and breezy horns, the summer of love wasn’t all sweetness and light.

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