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Legendary Pink Dots - The Lovers CD (album) cover

THE LOVERS

Legendary Pink Dots

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 13 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars I was extremely pleased with the inclusion of this rebellious crew from the Netherlands into the prog community as they occupy a large section of my collection (like the equally prolific Bill Nelson) and fully deserve all the adulation possible, keeping space/psychedelia alive in the "dry" years back in the 80s when haircuts and synths ruled. Check out their bio on their web page , it's a ride worthy of Gong, Hawkwind and some of the punkier electro bands of the times (Trisomie 21, In the Nursery, This Mortal Coil etc?). Charismatic singer Edward Ka-Spel has a unique voice and delivery, a strange mixture of Robert Calvert (always a good thing), Daevid Allen, Howard Devoto and Julian Cope, reciting as often as singing over the classic 80s metronome beat, guitar flashing through the synthesized whirlwind that keeps things organic (using the er? organ) and contrasting sonic alterations throughout. There are some splendid pieces here such as throbbing opener "MMMMMM", the placid "Geisha Mermaid", the robust "The Jungle" a track that really carves out the appeal, having all the cosmic planets aligned, supple bass careening ever forward and drawing the other soloists along including a screeching violin and rattling guitar swaths that spin comfortably on their axis. But it's the massive and incredible "The Lovers" title track is a two part affair that has a perplex definition of the cosmic sound and hesitates little in exploring the farthest universes. Daring to start with elegant piano is a bold enterprise but keyboardist Phil Knight is a pure musician and delivers in longing melancholia. The supreme violin makes another charming return, drenching the arrangement in a lush orchestral balm that soothes and somehow disturbs as well (just like a love relationship I guess). The two tracks sandwiched in between the two Lovers parts serve as added instrumental fodder, the short "Silvertude" being purely electronic in spirit and the more vocally involved "Flowers for the Silverman" (Silverman being Knight's stage name!) slipping into deeper absurdia, the in your face bass rolling beastily along and Edward doing some weird hippy-trippy singing while the violin cattily shrieks once again. A great track this that Gongsters will adore! "The Lovers Part 2" reunites everyone with the divine piano and the sleek strings , Edward whispering sensuously into the microphone, enraptured by the carnal bliss and the overt classicism of the music. The romantic violins are overpowering yet blend well within all the bizarre effects challenging the casual listener to pay attention. "Curious Guy" hovers near humorous Robert Calvert territory, cold, visceral and sexually perverse ("I would like to lick your secret valleys, I am a curious guy!"), with simply brilliant chorus, mood and atmosphere, the edgy violins pushing the piece along with a surprise funky danceable mid-section. I mean this is fun. "Premonition 16" ends this pleasant little psycho foray into the curious world of the Pink Dots, blazing mellotron and hushed vocals supply the vaporous backdrop for an elongated spoken Ka-Spel rant (winking at Michael Moorcock) , clocking in over 11 minutes and flinging one into far-flung horizons that defy normal constraints. "Gliding so far the eye cannot follow, where do they go, we'll never know" (lyrics from "Beauty Queen" by Roxy Music). This is exalted space rock, probably closer to Syd Barrett and early Gong than anything structured like Eloy or Hawkwind. To this day, the band remains devoted to its fans and doing their own thing, touring and releasing albums along the way. I am a fan of their music and it does deserve to be checked out, albeit prudently. This is one of their good ones.

4 Romeos and Juliets

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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