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The Archies: This Is Love

Track List

Album Notes

The last of the original Archies albums, 1971's This Is Love is the weakest of the lot. By this point, the principals of the project were more interested in other jobs; Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, who had previously been executive producer Don Kirshner's primary collaborators, had already skived off to focus on Kim's solo career, contributing only "Together We Two," a Ron Dante and Toni Wine duet that sounds like an outtake from one of the earlier albums. Even odder, the characters from the Archies cartoons are nowhere to be seen on the sleeve, nor are they mentioned in the liner notes. However, despite a higher-than-usual ratio of trash to treasure (the first couple of Archies albums are surprisingly strong for the same reason that the first four or five Monkees albums tended to be excellent: they needed a higher number of potential hits to feature in the TV show), This Is Love is not entirely dismissible. The title track is slight but charming, and the countrified "Should Anybody Ask" has the psychedelic cowboy charm of one of Michael Nesmith's more fanciful tunes. Then there's the four-minute throwaway jam "What Goes On," unfortunately not a bubblegum cover of the Velvet Underground's similarly titled classic but co-producer Richie Adams' Vietnam commentary, which is about as interesting and insightful as one might expect. For hardcore bubblegum fans only. ~ Stewart Mason



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