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Steve Hillage - L CD (album) cover


Steve Hillage


Canterbury Scene

3.68 | 187 ratings

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4 stars I like this one. Perhaps it's not sharing the same level of complexity like "Fish Rising", but it's more approachable and full of catchy melodies. Don't be fooled by the catchiness, "L" offers some excellent musicianship, and although it's not extremely complex, common song structure ( verse-verse-chorus-bridge-verse etc.) are working fine because of not so usual solutions. Guitar work here is at it's best, reminding us of best Hillage's moments in his KHAN and GONG careers. Everything is here: Steve's trademark seagull sounds, spacey echo solos, gorgeous and expressive melodies, a touch of guitar synth. That's what I call guitar player! Perhaps not the best possible guitarist around, but this is the essence of the space rock. Sorry Gilmour, but this guy got sense of humour.

The rest of the band is on the same level. Keyboards are quite straightforward (from the space rock's point of view), no 10-minute baroque solos, just lovely harmonies with wisely chosen spacey analog timbres, providing best possible atmospheres and carpets. Hurdy gurdy fits in that story just fine.

Speaking of songs themselves - each one of them is a good pebble in album's mosaic, with very few week points. You can flow on a beauty of "Hurdy Gurdy Man", and "Om Nama Shivaya" is spicing the album up with the scent of India, until the moment when BANG! Steve's doubled guitar solo enters the song, awesome. I love "Electrick Gypsies" it's so hippie and naive, you got to love it!

"Lunar Musick Suite" is a suite indeed, but despite the fact than 95% of material is very good, there are few moments that need better development, because rhythm-section of the band is repetitive a little bit more than needed. The song is 12 minutes long, and I don't think it shouldve been be shorter or more concise, just the tiny gaps should have been filled with some non-repetitive idea.

"It's All Too Much" in this version sounds too long and - that word again! - repetitive. Slightly punky overtones, and the weakest track on album. Maybe that was author's intention, it's simply too much.

Anyway: "L" (I can't figure it out why is that album's name) deserves four and a half stars easily, but I'm hesitating to round it to five because of this minor, almost cosmetic mistakes. I like it and I hope there is more music like this around.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |


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