“Love Is Love” by Woods

on April 6, 2017

Love Is Love is the 10th studio release from the psychedelic folk band Woods. It is a concept album in six songs, written and recorded in the two months following the election. It is spiritual, appealing to love as an ideal of human harmony. The band draws on jazz, world music and the sonic toolkit of a Grateful Dead-inspired jam band to deliver elegant compositions, despite how quickly they were produced.

Now, Rage Against The Machine this isn’t. Americans don’t need any help getting angry. In fact, people’s capacity for anger has been tested and exhausted. Love Is Love is grim at times, like when Jeremy Earl sings, “Have you heard the news? Hate can’t lose” in the song “Bleeding Blue.” But the horns that follow the verse preach hope, or at least determination.

I don’t know if there is a literal record flip, but I feel one at the album’s halfway point. We go from the catchy chorus of “Lost In The Crowd,” in which the band sounds like a shaggier The Shins, to the foreboding 10-minute instrumental “Spring Is In The Air.” This dark valley stretches through the subsequent track, “Hit That Drum,” with its dirge tempo. But the album comes out on the other side, and there is sunlight in the reworked reprise of the title track. Love Is Love effectively envelopes you, even consumed with a shabby pair of headphones. It has depth.»

-Tyler Burdwood

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