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Robert Calvert - Test Tube Conceived CD (album) cover

TEST TUBE CONCEIVED

Robert Calvert

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.86 | 3 ratings

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Heptade
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Bob Calvert was underexposed and underappreciated in his lifetime, intellectually and commercially. Perhaps people couldn't get past his hippie Hawkwind connection (not that there's anything wrong with the Hawk, of course). His solo albums are all dark, imaginative, even prescient, given his curiosity about future technology. As on the Freq album, on Test Tube Conceived Calvert chose to work with a cold European synth pop sound, all icy keyboards and robotic drum machines with some guitar. This typically 80s sound would be dated to our ears now were it not for the way it perfectly suits the themes of his songs. On this record, he deals with artificial births, animal experimentation, genetic engineering, government surveillance through technology, and even the internet, which barely existed at that time. It's chilling to read the lyrics to "Online" and see how Calvert so accurately predicted the internet world of hackers, ten years before it entered the public consciousness, ample evidence of his questing genius. His lyrics are terse, brief, but always to the point. Never a gifted vocalist, Calvert's voice is more a tool for delivering the message. This is not an "easy" album but is very effective at putting across its warnings about the ways that the supposed blessing of advanced technology can be twisted to suit the needs of unscrupulous governments and corporations. It's a very timely message that deserves a hearing. This CD is still in print and well worth a listen.
Heptade | 4/5 |

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