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Robert Calvert - Hype CD (album) cover


Robert Calvert


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.17 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars To stumble upon a spacelog of such ostensible little consequence, preserved in pristine condition on See For Miles' CD reissue, reminds me that we live among gentle caretakers, you and I. How many of Hawkwind's faithful had the fare for Calvert's supplemental expeditions and, of these, how many were really hip to Hype? Yet it's one of those miniature treasures that filled the cracks where art/prog and new wave first met, the sort of work that the word "quirky" was meant for. If one hears in the long history of Hawkwind the name "Eno" whispered from time to time, it's never been so audible as here. Calvert's offhand intellectualism, sense of humor and muted delight in rock upended rarely stray from Eno as a reference point; Eno at his least serious, that is, by which I mean "Backwater," "Dead Finks Don't Talk, "Paw-Paw Negro Blowtorch" and their ilk. Calvert's vocals are rather Ferry cum Eno, his lyrics a cross between Eno and Ric Ocasek, the music generally less ambitious than Japan, Kraftwerk, Sparks and Ultravox but suggestive of them all the same. Nary a sight of Hawkwind in Hype's landscape, however, save for the participation of Nick Turner, Mike Moorcock and Simon House. The closing "Lord of the Hornets" (released as a single in 1981) has a hint of Hawkwind's menace, but relatively speaking Hype is harmless. Having invoked the image of Eno's comedic concoctions, I'd be remiss if I didn't add that Calvert falls short of those high standards. Nothing on Hype is as clever as Eno's drollest entries from the early days, if only because Calvert isn't interested here with pushing musical envelopes. You won't find the islands of lucid guitar from a Fripp or Phil Manzanera; the most you can hope for is some edgy accompaniment from Simon House or a silly solo from Trev Thoms. Yet in its humble way, Hype is charming. If your tastes lean toward the literate, slightly low-fi new wave of the '80s, and the idea of rhyming "Fellini" with "bikini" sounds clever to you, you may be ripe for Hype.
daveconn | 3/5 |


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