Well I say “album review”, but you know what I mean. Like I ever review anything thoroughly.

Professional music critics always use bollocks descriptive words like “organic” and then typically shoehorn music into a genre. If they can’t find one, they’ll make a new one up. Neoclassical-electro-punk-funk etc. I think it probably makes them able to sleep at night knowing that everything has been safely pigeonholed.


Anyway, yesterday I got my copy of the new Level 42 album – Retroglide, slightly ahead of the official release date (which is nice). It’s been about 12 years since Forever Now was released, so it’s been a long wait for us L42 fans.

Over the last month or so, the official site has been putting 45 second snippets online. I wasn’t overly impressed! Was buying tickets to two dates of the Retroglide tour a big mistake?

Hmm let’s see, after a few listens, here’s what I’ve got so far. The tracks standing out for me are The Way Back Home, Just For You and Sleep Talking (conveniently sequential tracks), whereas Clouds, Ship and All I Need strike me as flat bland fillers. I’m hoping Clouds will grow on me though in the same way a previous L42 song – It’s Over did.

Overall, I’d say this is a very organic, mature acid jazz album with shades of mellow retrofunk. Arrrrrrrrgh!!! I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Actually, I’ll quote the great music guru that is Louis Walsh… “I liked it!”. I don’t think it’s going to be a classic L42 album by any means and it’s a shame I don’t instantly love it, but at least I’m looking forward to the live gigs again now.

Comments on: "Level 42 – Retroglide – Album Review!" (2)

  1. I, like many people, have waited for what seems like an eternity for the latest Level 42 album release and I was a little slow on the uptake in getting my copy! However, any initial worries about the new material were soon put to bed when I heard them perform some of the new tracks live in Folkestone on 16 Oct.

    Amongst the usual collection of classic songs were “Dive Into The Sun”, “Retroglide” & “Rooted”, and all were met with a very positive response. I’m not so certain about the album version, but “Dive Into The Sun” live is a very welcome retort back to the heady old days. I also think having Mike Lindup back in the saddle has breathed fresh life into the band after 12 years away.

    All in all, people who see Level 42 live on the current European Tour will not be disappointed. Included on Monday’s playlist were “Kansas City Milkman” & “World Machine” and both sounded terrific and like they hadn’t aged one bit. It was obvious to all that the band were having a great time up on stage and I think their enthusiasm rubbed off on all of us. As usual the instrumentation from all was fantastic with King and Lindup on their usual world-class form. (It was really good to hear the Lindup falsetto again, the crowd loved it!) In addition, saxophonist Sean Freeman was brilliant, adding real flavour to an already superb sound. I’ve even managed to convert my girlfriend, who now likes Level 42 thanks to this experience!!

    To end, Retoglide is not a Pursuit Of Accidents or a World Machine, but it does stand up in it’s own right. The Way Back Home & Sleep Talking are good tracks as are the ones I have mentioned earlier, but this will take some time to grow on the more pessimistic fans hoping for a return to past glories and former times!! However, this is a welcome addition to the superb catologue of material and it shows Level 42 are prepared to go forward and follow their hearts. I just hope one day the original four will do some kind of tour, I can imagine the surge of tickets for that one! However, Retroglide……bought it, tried it, liked it. Recommended!!

  2. Thanks for your comments, I’m glad you liked the album and gig! I saw them on Sunday at Cambridge, so I’ll be hopefully posting a few pictures and stuff from the show very soon.

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