Woods - Love Is Love

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-05-19

There are so many ways you can hark back to ‘good old times’ or for that matter, ‘bad old times’. Ten albums on, with their latest one, Love is Love, Woods hark back to the 60s. Frankly, they have been doing that more or less all the time, but this time it seems to be exactly their intention. And they seem to have both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in mind. But let's start with simpler things.

This six track album that plays just a few minutes above the 30 minute mark seems to fit perfectly with the heyday of the vinyl that is getting the resurgence these days. Maybe during the dominance of the CDs and upsurge of mp3, we started to forget how the musicians had to contain their message to a certain time limit. “You’ve got half an hour, fit in!” That certainly did spark creativity in some musicians. Maybe Woods wanted to pick up on that vibe.

The other thing this album deals with, and is in many ways connected to fifty years ago, is the political climate that was present then, and it seems is present now. Political turmoil abounds. What was one of the musical answers then? Peace and love. Recording this album immediately after the US elections and in some way sensing what is to come in the months ahead, Woods have picked up on the ‘love is the answer’ theme. And why not? Particularly because they seem to have in mind what is needed as personal strength to see the turmoil through. The lyrics fully reflect the sentiments of uncertainty and necessity to find inner strength: "A descending darkness/and it feels like a dream/but the trip gets worse/and I'm lost in a crowd." (Lost in a Crowd)

And then there is the music. Woods were always considered a band that drew its inspiration from the folky psychedelia that went on before, and there is no exception here. They only go on to strengthen it further. And since there is a theme of love and the word is key for the album title, they even recall that ‘old’ band with the same name with the great brass arrangement on “Bleeding Blue”. They even go as far as to remind us of those jazzy photo-progressive musical exploration popular at the time with Spring is in the Air (Spring 1968?).

So no shouting or fist bashing, lyrically or musically. Just parallels drawn between the times separated by 50 years and questions that we have to resolve, first in ourselves. Most of the music created in the late 60s still holds its value. This album might slip by or be underestimated by many now, but I kind of feel it will be positively reevaluated in the times to come.

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