BY MICHAEL TOLAND
For the uninitiated (which is everybody that doesn’t obsessively pore over the credits of 60s and early ‘70s pop records), songwriter Michael Fennelly authored “Go Back,” a 1970 hit single from his band Crabby Appleton, as well as four songs for Begin, the sole LP by legendary 60s studio pop ensemble the Millennium. Love Can Change Everything is, as billed, a collection of demo recordings, many of which led him to be acquired by Millennium masterminds Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsen, served as previews of Appleton and/or earned him his brief post-Appleton solo career.
Fennelly’s light voice and lovelorn lyrics perfectly suit the sunshine pop scene from which he emerged, especially when married to his sweet and occasionally creamy melodies. “I’ve Been Found,” “I Couldn’t Find the Words” and “Love Can Change Everything,” recorded with his Millennium bandmates, could easily slip into the repertoire of Emitt Rhodes or the Left Banke. By contrast, several tunes feature just Fennelly’s 12-string acoustic and overdubbed vocals – the naked sound and arrangements put the emphasis squarely on his catchy melodies, making tunes like the percussive “Try,” the yearning “Hunger For Love” and, of course, the power popping “Go Back” starkly effective.
Love Can Change Everything isn’t just a curio for fans of unjustly obscure tunesmiths – it’s an engaging listen whether you know its auteur’s history or not.
DOWNLOAD: “Go Back,” “Hunger For Love,” “I Couldn’t Find the Words”