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Hawkwind - Alien 4 CD (album) cover

ALIEN 4

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.25 | 75 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The material of this album was first known to me from "Love in Space" live album, which I regard as the most prolific album of the band's 1990's decade recordings. I was surprised how sterile and dull these studio versions of the songs sounded, when compared to that fine live double album.

"Abducted" opens the record, being a nice sci-fi soundscape and poem, leading to "Alien (I Am)". Now this did not appear vert very interesting, as I think it is lacking the dynamics an opening song demands, though it has some nice sounds in it. On "Reject Your Human Touch" I was irritated by the mechanic drum sounds, otherwise being a decent little "promenade" between the longer tracks (I'm not sure if using Moussorgy's piano piece as reference here is proper). Anyway, "Blue Skin" is a song about being in a tattooing machine and getting weird stuff painted to your skin. Again the drum sounds are not very pleasing, and the "Love in Space" version beats this out (like all of the tracks here, I have to admit). "Beam Me Up" is a slower ballad, but here I was not amused by the vocals nor overall sterile sounds. "Vega" is the great ambient moment here, truly touching cosmic sequence. "Xenomorph" morphs back to the rock phase, being also little cold in its appearance. "Journey" is another instrumental middle sequence, being OK but not exceptional or anything. "Sputnik Stan" starts with cosmic ambient sounds, and then shifts to quite heavy riff. An OK song, but the live is yet better. "Kapal" paints up an electronic sound realm, with some synthetic drumming in the end ruining the good parts of it. "Festivals" is another rocker in style of "Sputnik Stan", but not as good as that one. "Death Trap" opens the live CD in a great way, and that performance is also better again. "Wastelands" is a short intro to the final CD track "Are You Losing Your Mind?", being also a small anticlimax for me.

Sadly the promisingly named vinyl bonus track "Space Sex" hasn't yet reached my ears. Thus I think "Alien 4" is a decent album, but the "Love in Space" live is a masterpiece when compared to it, as there the music pulses both with life and energy, and also the programmed drums are played with real set of cans and sticks. My friend found a really neat vinyl version of that, I recommend hunting it down if you're in to this kind of space rock instead. I would leave this one to friends of techno/trance music who are abducted by aliens for sex experiments.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 3/5 |

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