Album Flashback #6: Love Psychedelico - Abbot Kinney (Victor/ Freedom Records 2010, Japan)

On Ani diFranco's 1996 album Dilate, there's a line that says that you should watch out for people who smile too much because they're probably hiding something. True enough in my experience, but on the new album from Love Psychedelico youcan pretty much tell that their happiness is very much genuine. Should we trust them in their unspeakable happiness? Well, that depends on your stance towards them. Love Psychedelico are by nature always happy and have got happier as their albums have progressed. Abbot Kinney is their fifth album proper and on most of the twelve tracks they are very happy indeed. 

The thing is, these days there is a general apathy towards happiness in musicians. Unless they're doing drugs, drinking every second hour and doing models they're considered somehow uncool by certain parties of listeners. They also have to be virtually slitting their wrists when they sing too, which is quite a task when it's been so many times in so many ways over the decades. But, I have nothing against happiness you'll be happy to hear and am not about to berate them for unfailing sunshiny outlook. 

Even in their miserable moments there is a sense of light at the end of the chorus and that is what we need more of these days quite frankly!

And thus the most revealing aspect of this album is the songs that are mostly acoustic and a lot better than their last two albums which somehow lost that intriguing mystery their debut and Love Psychedelic Orchestra had so much of and thus were more appealing.

This mystery is back in full force on Abbot Kinney and the listen is a lot better than the thin but fun offerings of Golden Grapefruit which thrilled but left you empty somehow. The thing that's most interesting though is the return to melancholy that the acoustic setting has been able to provide. Gone is the cloying positivity that was admirable and refreshing but still a diversion from their best work and back is the sense of hope behind sad acoustics and lyrics that are deceptively simple yet emotive. 

Tracks such as Hit The Road, Shadow Behind and cover Have You Ever Seen the Rain? show that 'Delico haven't retreated into Beatles-esque peace fest's and meltdowns and still have the power to make some good music. 

Rating 4.5/5

Listen to: Here I Am, Bring Down The Orion, Have You Ever Seen the Rain

Seba Rashii

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