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Steve Hillage - L CD (album) cover


Steve Hillage


Canterbury Scene

3.68 | 202 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some background first: "L" is produced by Todd Rundgren, and the band behind Hillage is Todd's own prog group Utopia. So, from the beginning, the sound is dominated by Rundgren's trademark production aesthetic (love it or hate it) and the musicianship of the Utopia crew. For any Utopia fans, this disc is a natural choice, and you'll probably love it. Now besides all that: this album is awesome. Due to the nature of the beast (a few cover songs, and some "interesting choices") it took a while for the album as a whole to bring me to a high level of appreciation, so for new listeners who would like to see where I'm coming from I would recommend skipping straight to the main feature, "Lunar Musick Suite." This is one of my favorite pieces of music. Immediately the journey begins in an electrically-charged atmosphere filled with ominous guitar riffs and pulsing synthesizers, then the (loud) drums come booming in and everything takes off, with hardly a break in the action until the song's end. One high point is about halfway through: a totally sublime section where guest musician Don Cherry sputters trumpet improvisations onto a bed of synths and tumbling drum rolls, building into a menacing climax before bursting through into a slice of musical heaven. The song concludes with some echo-drenched guitar noodling fading into silence. As far as the rest of the album, for one we have "Om Nama Shivaya," which is an Indian religious hymn... yeah, but still, the ending is an amazing multiple-layered guitar solo which can't be argued with. Then we have covers such as "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "It's All Too Much," both which feature, among other things... more great guitar solos! The drums are also really loud and weird sounding -- overall this album has an environment and feel that I've never heard elsewhere. For anyone interested in such things, or who want some excellent, unique music by an underrated artist in general, I would recommend this great album without hesitation.
corbet | 4/5 |


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