Forever Changes, by Love
Suggested by Saira Gorringe
As I’ve mentioned, I listen to these albums on my Alexa. What I haven’t mentioned is I cue them up on my iPhone, and airplay them with a push of a button. I don’t do this to feel lordly and omnipotent: I do this so I can follow along with the tracklist, and make mental notes of any highlights and lowlights I find. There’s also some rudimentary data on each album, such as date of release and record label.
This has a point, I assure you.
I fired up Love’s Forever Changes, having heard of neither band nor album before. Through a minor misclick, I started the Extended and Enhanced version.
The first song started. “Wow,” I think. “It sounds so retro. When was it released?”
I check my iPhone. 2002.
“Excellent! They’ve really captured that Sixties summer sound.”
When I discovered, halfway through song 2, that while the Extended and Enhanced version was released in 2002, the original was released in 1967. So the sound was exactly what you’d expect.
Weirdly, I felt rather deflated by that. It’s not the album’s fault, I know, but my process besmirched my enjoyment from the get-go.
Forever Changes is beautiful. It’s a Sixties summer, psychedelic, bright and airy, a cool drink at a beachside bar in the haze of a hot afternoon. It’s groovy, bell bottoms, and weed. It’s far out, with flowers in your hair.
That’s not a bad thing!
If you’re looking for some throwback sounds, mellifluous and alluring, that conjure up an era immaculately, then Love will get you there. From the high and understated vocals to the jangly guitars and swinging drum sounds, it’s all exactly correct. The sounds of the Sixties in America.
I’m not a fan of the Sixties sound in general. Sure, I like some stuff, but only the classics like the Beatles or Stones. Round about now, I’d be peppering my review with apt soundalikes and parallels, but I don’t have the suitable frames of reference.
Of the songs on offer, my personal favourite is Bummer in the Summer, which sounds rather unfortunate today. It has more of an edge than the rest, a little lest patchouli hippyism.
I give Forever Changes 5/10, acknowledging that I’m being wildly unfair. The fact that it sounds so perfectly on brand is probably its great strength, as it’s likely a seminal influence on a host of mother music that came after. It’s just not my bag, man. Peace out.