Review Summary: Orange skies, carnivals and cotton candy, and you...
The ignorant punk: Love? Sound like a bunch of god damn hippies.
The Woodstock reveler: Why listen to these wannabes when I could be listening to Sgt. Pepper? Or Pet Sounds! Jim Morrison GETS me!
Me: Shut up! Listen, "Stephanie Knows Who" is driven by a keyboard stomp that would make Ray Manzarek wet himself. "She Comes in Colors" is baroque enough to put Brian Wilson to shame. "7 & 7 is" will kick your ass as hard as any Stooges tune. "Orange Skies" is one of the most beautiful pop songs ever. Oh yeah and there's also a 17 minute jam to top the album off. What the hell IS Da Capo?
The answer is: artistic mastery. A manifesto. A swirling bucket of influences and pop instinct that ends up being quite delectable. What do you taste? Overtones of psychedelic pop, but it doesn't drown the flavor. A strong proto-punk aftertaste, and, perhaps a hint of A.M. pop? My word. Maybe it's more of an almanac, listing off the best of whats going on all around, and chock full of eerily accurate predictions of the future. "People will start to play a little faster sometime soon. Let us show you what we mean."
Arthur Lee is an insurmountable frontman. Not only does he have the pop chops to make any song radio-ready, he has the vocal strength to entrench them in your subconscious. His delivery transitions seamlessly from track to track from angst-ridden and furious (in the vein of Morrison, in fact) to sweet and tender. The only song he doesn't take the lead on is "Orange Skies," and guitarist Bryan MacLean is certainly up to the challenge.
While Da Capo's influences are front and center (a tradition in the garage rock scene Love emerged from), there's no question this is the work of an individual band. The most accessible hooks are couched in off-kilter arrangements and embellished with the most gloriously minute flourishes of musical skill. The 17 minute Revelation is the only track on the album that sort of drags. And it's 17 minutes so what can you expect? So punks and hippies unite. No music lover should look this one over.