The third coming of Love, heralded on Elektra's Sunset Strip billboard last summer, is upon us. The group has dropped its sixth and seventh members, originally added to sophisticate their music, and they have, in the end, produced their most sophisticated album yet, Forever Changes.
The hard Beatle-Byrd sound of their first album, which turned arty in their second (Da Capo), has been smoothed out quite a bit. Large scale orchestration augments the basic combo on several cuts, replacing the self-contained "orchestration" of Da Capo.
Forever Changes features fairly tight, well-arranged tracks. Its weakest point is in the material. Some of the songs meander and lack real melodic substance. Leader Arthur Lee composed 9 of the 11 cuts. In his quest for originality, Lee sometimes had trouble giving the songs continuity. "The Red Telephone" is an example of this. It contains both excellent and mediocre portions.
The strongest cut on the album is the opener, "Alone Again Or." Other good ones are "A House is not a Motel," "The Good Humor Man," "You Set the Scene" and "Andmoreagain." These and the other tunes on the album run the range from hard rock to folk to soft orchestration.
Despite the album's flaw of inconsistency, it is nice to listen to. The background orchestration is pleasant and the recording is technically good.
Love disappeared for a time before releasing this album, and it's good to have them back. Forever Changes provides some good stuff for open ears.