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Steve Hillage - L CD (album) cover

L

Steve Hillage

 

Canterbury Scene

3.64 | 120 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Apparently bereft of much of the energy that permeated his solo debut FISH RISING, Steve Hillage joined Todd Rundgren's Utopia and came up with something much glossier. I don't know what was going through Rundgren's mind at the time. He doesn't seem to have understood half of the artists he worked with (he completely emasculated Patti Smith for her fourth album, the dismal WAVE). Steve Hillage was also let down by his choice of material. Hillage has a rather whiny voice and is no great vocalist (a fact that was kept hidden by FISH RISING's frenetic soloing), so it was not a bright idea to include cover versions of not just one but TWO of psychedelic pop's more plaintive ditties: Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and George Harrison's "It's all too much". Hillage's own songwriting didn't prove much better. Right from the beginning (I bought L as soon as it came out) "Electric Gypsies" made me shiver with embarrasment. Where does a grown-up man get the idea to sing about something so childish? Fortunately, throughout the album Hillage's guitar playing remains remarkably eloquent. L's two extended instrumental pieces are superb. "Lunar Musick Suite" is one of Hillage's supreme achievements (the one track where Rundgren's production technique bears fruit), and in addition it's blessed with a wonderfully dreamy solo by jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, backed by lush, moonlike synthesizer washes.
fuxi | 3/5 |

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