I Love You: I Love You

In 1991 I don’t think this band realized just how badly their name would eventually be Google-blocked. I dare you to find more than a few snippets of information on this band.

Their self-titled debut has a bunch of great songs, though I’d say it’s even a better album than its individual songs. There are a lot of great moments and riffs that end up constituting a really enjoyable start-to-finish listen, even if they have a little trouble, especially on the back half of the album, tying together three or four minutes of cohesive material really well.

I Love You’s predominant sound is that of a kind of scratch-funk guitar in the mode of Red Hot Chili Peppers but without Anthony Kiedis’ annoying “singing,” and RHCP never made anything this good. The guitar style works really well with the hippie dippie aspect of the lyrics, so popular with the long hairs at the time. It also works really well with the drummer. I didn’t really notice what he was doing back then, but I love it now. His work is chock full of syncopation, and he often just leaves the backbeat (and even the downbeat) completely out of the equation, playing around the beat, but, in part due to the guitar’s frequent scratchy strums, the drummer and the rest of the band never lose the rhythm. It’s the kind of drumming that I get the sense drummers hate, but I’m all over it.

The worst aspect of the album is probably the sound muddiness. Either that or the hippie dippie lyrics, which were so groundbreaking, heart-felt, and truthful to me when I was 17. Decades later I’m too cynical to do anything but sigh and roll my eyes at the silly idealism of youth.

It’s no mystery why this album has been forgotten to time. There’s nothing flashy or outrageously compelling here. (The closest the disc gets to that is the first track.) Still, it’s an excellent piece of work. The quality floor is high…the quality never dips below good. And, you know, I think for the most part I prefer an album with a high quality floor over one with a Best Song Ever and a bunch of filler. But then, I’m not most listeners.

Rating:
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– “Hang Straight Up,” “Open You,” “Love Is,” “2,” “She’s The One/I.N.S.E.T.,” “Swing,” “The Lamb”
– “Jesus,” “Flies,” “Jamf,” “Fuzz The Whirl”
Filed Between: Hype Soundtrack and I Love You’s All Of Us
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Hang Straight Up – They made a video for this.
  2. Open You – “Why die from mosquitoes?”
  3. Love Is –
  4. 2 – Awesome. Love the funky breakdown in the bridge.
  5. She’s The One/I.N.S.E.T. – Gets a bit too long, especially the I.N.S.E.T. part, but he’s got some really cool vocal rhythms in “She’s The One”‘s verses.
  6. Swing –
  7. Jesus –
  8. Flies – Really like some parts of this. Not sure if it’s worth it to wade through the slow smoky jazz room blues vibe thing to get to the hippie dippie parts (those are the good (or at least better) parts).
  9. Jamf – The melody here, spesh where the guitar and vox match each other, gets too repetitive.
  10. Fuzz The Whirl – I want to full heart this because the hippie dippie title is so reminiscent of the time. It’s good, but here’s one where the busy guitar playing and the unconventional drumming do end up getting in the way of the song. The bit from 4:10 to 4:30 is the best.
  11. The Lamb – Totally different sound and feel from what’s preceded it. A great way to end the album.
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One thought on “I Love You: I Love You

  1. Pingback: Skid Row: Subhuman Race | fatclown

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