Love / Arthur Lee

Electrically Speaking

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By the dawn of the '90s, it was a common thought (especially around his hometown of Los Angeles) that Arthur Lee, former founder of Love, was all but artistically bankrupt. Yet, in a miracle beyond price, the great singer/songwriter re-emerged healthy and filled with a cache of new and newly arranged classic Love material that he presented throughout southern California. This album, Electrically Speaking, documents this important period. Backed up by a seasoned mixture of new and familiar sidemen, Lee runs through his old Love catalog with renewed vigor and absolutely devastating vocal power. The material he tackles in these live recordings is so diverse that it defies description that he was able to so successfully bend his voice in such a chameleon-like way. The first three songs -- "Alone Again Or," "My Little Red Book," and the barnburning psychedelic masterpiece, "Seven & Seven Is" -- clearly underline this. On this set, Lee also captures such obscurities as "The Everlasting First" and a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" so gracefully and with such supple economy that it is downright intoxicating. The only real fault of this album is the fact that Lee had so many wonderful new songs (particularly the set-opening "Five String Serenade") that it is disappointing that only one newly written song, "That's the Way It Goes," is included here. This, however, is reason enough to pick this import up, as the song is easily on the artistic level of some of his earlier, classic material. Overall, this CD is absolutely essential to Arthur Lee and/or Love fans.

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