Sound: This is by far one of, if not the funkiest album the group made. 'Level 42' has one of the most memorable covers, one that spawned many logos including King's Princess bass all the way to the more recent 'Retroglide' album. Full of 42 classics such as 'Love Games', 'Turn It On' and 'Starchild', this album is most certainly one of the greatest 80's albums ever as far as sound and material goes. If a little 'under produced', Level 42 sports some of Mark Kings best bass tones and vocals to date and the bass playing? Well. // 9
Lyrics: The moods created by the lyrics are awesome. Surprisingly early in their careers, King and Lindup knew the magic formula exactly for writing memorable songs with serious undertones. It's hard to take many Level 42 songs seriously at times but with their first album, everything is as it is. No bullshit. The vocal harmonies are great with the whole band sharing vocal duties. // 8
Overall Impression: All in all? Wonderful! To listen to this 30 year old album is a breath of fresh air after hearing what passes as music today. Here is a short overview off all the tracks along with my personal rating.
01. Turn It On - this opener grooves like hell! Never learn the bassline. You'll find yourself playing it everytime you pick up a bass.
02. 43 - although instrumental, this track is rather repetitive, everything an instrumental shouldn't be. It does groove though and it feels great. Lindup at his best.
03. Why Are You Leaving? - well performed and well written but doesn't go with the other tracks. It's nice to hear something different but the band's ballads weren't too good until around 1986.
04. Almost There - this is as funky as they come. A 'Mr. Pink' type bassline with a great funk guitar intro. Bass players will love this one. Nice guitar solo too!
05. Heathrow - a great funk shuffle. Not something you hear everyday. Another instrumental but better than it's predecessor.
06. Love Games - the highlight of the album for me. Great bassline, great keyboard, great lyrics, great singing, great everything!
07. Dune Tune - a fans favourite, the last instrumental is great and well played. It can be argued however about it's 'cheese factor'.
08. Starchild - a little long but worth giving it your full attention for all six minutes just for the great bass work.
Well worth the money whatever you pay for it! // 9