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Hawkwind - Levitation  CD (album) cover

LEVITATION

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.98 | 168 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Levitation" typifies the new direction for Hawkwind who would enter the 80s with spacey rock and a retro sound.

There are still weird effects and catchy hooks and Brock's accomplished vocals but what makes this new era for Hawkwind stand out is that the musicianship goes up a few notches. Gone are the chug a chug repeated rhythms to make way for complex lead guitar soloing and more accessible riffing. The keyboards are played brilliantly by Gong's Tim Blake, and Bainbridge and Lloyd-Langton are excellent throughout. Ginger Baker on drums is definitely a drawcard; the man is an umitigated legend and he lends his expertise on every track.

'Levitation' is a rocker with infectious chorus and crunching riffs that features on many compilations. 'Motorway City' is one of the more popular songs sounding somewhat like Motorhead though I prefer the spacier Hawkwind.

'Psychosis' begins with a spaceship effect and some voice overs typical of a space flight, then after some psychedelia the riff starts. Baker's drums pound relentlessly and there is a delightful sound on acoustics. 'World of Tiers' continues in this vein until we come to the fantastic next track. 'Who's Gonna Win the War' is an outstanding song that I first heard on a rock box set and I loved it enough to get hold of this album. Brock sounds great and it has a catchy melody with spacey overtones. The bassline is terrific and the guitar solo soars along with the wind effects.

'Space Chase' is an amazing composition with space squibbles and very inventive keyboards soloing over blazing guitars. This is Hawkwind at their best and makes this one album that keeps getting better the more it continues. As an instrumental it delivers some of the best musicianship of the extensive Hawkwind catalogue.

'The 5th Second of Forever' begins with acoustic vibrations and lets loose with intensity. 'Dust of Time' has a wonderful melody and driving guitars. It is one of the best for Hawkwind with a memorable tune and some of Brock's best work on vocals. The lead guitar break is a real treat and very atmospheric keyboards augment the soundscape. Overall "Levitation" is one of Hawkwind's best releases and certainly is most consistent in terms of memorable songs and innovative structures and arrangements.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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