The Love Exchange

The Love Exchange

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The Love Exchange's only album is an obscure also-ran psychedelic effort, though it's not poor. "Swallow the Sun," their most familiar tune due to its appearance on some '60s anthologies, is the standout on this assortment of rudimentary trippy garage-psych explorations. The minor-key yet poppy melodic progressions, leaning on snaky guitar lines and organ, are typical of much 1966-1968 California hippie rock. The tunes, however (often written by producer Larry Goldberg), are derivative and the lyrics self-conscious in their incense-tuous air. The production sometimes verges on the hasty and crude; Bonnie Blunt's voice, usually the focal point, is deserving of better material and arrangements. The folk-rock quotient comes to the fore on two of the better tunes, the appropriately melancholy and ghostly "Ballad of a Sad Man" (written by bassist Mike Joyce) and "Nothing at All," on which Blunt cedes the lead vocal position to one of the guys. The latter song, in fact, has a garage folk-rock air (and unrefined production) that leads one to suspect that it may have been cut earlier than most or all of the other tracks on the record. The 2001 Sundazed reissue has three previously unissued cuts (including a couple of awful quasi-showtune ditties) and three alternate takes of songs from the LP.

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