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The Legendary Pink Dots - The Lovers CD (album) cover


The Legendary Pink Dots

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Occupying a strange place somewhere inbetween New Wave, Psychedelia, Ambient and Progressive Music the LPD never make for easy listening. This album is probably their most accessible and a great starting point for newcomers. All blueprints for their following output can be found here: intelligent, punky pop-rockers, bittersweet balladry, intricate compositions and no-nonsense experimentation. Guided by Edward Ka-Spel's innocent, cheekily childlike vocals, backed by inventive musicianship musical boundries are torn down and new genres unfold. Tradional proggers might have to let go of their ideas of what Progressive Rock should sound like, but in the mid-eighties no post-punk band was more progressive than the Dots.
Report this review (#276913)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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

Report this review (#277578)
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars One of the benefits of managing a record/CD store was getting promos from the distibutors. And the sales reps for the different labels quickly developed an idea of what their customers were interested in. As such, the Caroline rep knew I was interested in all sorts of odd music, and gave me some disks by The Legendary Pink Dots. I doubt I would have ever purchased them.

This album, to me sounds like a cross between 80's synth pop, and Daevid Allen silliness and naivete. The first four tracks were recorded live. Patrick Wright's violin is what makes these interesting. The better tracks, and more prog to my ears are the two parts of The Lovers, with the second part being almost symphonic, and the final track Premonition 16, that makes me feel like Spinal Tap recorded a new wave piece.

Not uninteresting, but not something that compels me to listen again.

Report this review (#289784)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2010 | Review Permalink

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