In case you were wondering why Michael Fennelly rates an album that collects his demo recordings, here are the chief reasons: he was a founding member and songwriter for the most interesting baroque pop group of the '60s, the Millennium, and he wrote the one hit, "Go Back," for one-hit proto power poppers Crabby Appleton. Most of the other Millennium guys have had collections of their songs released, and it was about time Fennelly got the same treatment. Love Can Change Everything collects songs recorded between 1967 and 1972 and shows off a skilled writer and performer who may have been not quite at the level of his fellow bandmates -- he's not as much an oddball genius as Curt Boettcher was, as hooky a writer as Lee Mallory, or as transcendently poppy as Sandy Salisbury -- but his tender vocals and gentle way with a melody mean that plenty of the songs here are memorable, especially those near the end of the disc that became Crabby Appleton songs. Included on the set are four songs recorded with Boettcher in 1967 that served as something of an audition for entry to the group. It's easy to see why he passed the test, as the tunes are bright and perfectly formed '60s pop. The rest of the disc follows the shifting tides of the era as it gets heavier (the thudding rocker "Breakdown"), then folkier and more introspective on his acoustic guitar demos from summer of 1969, before getting more straightforward on the songs like "Go Back" and "Can't Live My Life Without You" that became Crabby Appleton tracks. The final four songs are pure Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter ballads that show he was definitely plugged into that mood. They are a nice surprise to end the disc and should inspire people to seek out his hard-to-find 1974 solo album Lane Changer (or maybe to pressure Sundazed to reissue it). It may have taken a while for a collection of Fennelly tracks to see the light of day, but Love Can Change Everything shows that his work was definitely worthy of being excavated.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra