Retroglide [DVD] review by Level 42

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  • Released: Sep 18, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Content: 10
  • Production Quality: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 4 (3 votes)
Level 42: Retroglide [DVD]

Sound — 8
Filmed live at the New Theatre, Oxford, on 31/10/06, Retroglide is a recording of Level 42's last English show on the 2006 tour of the same name. The show is chock full of pitch perfect 4 part harmony vocals, fantastic guitar work from Mark's brother 'Nathan', great Sax solos from Sean Freeman, some complicated grooves from Gary Husband - one of the best British funk drummers around, wonderful additional percussion from Kwaku Dzidzornu and of course longest serving members Lindup and King sharing vocal duties and really showing talent on their instruments. The live sound is wonderfully mixed and monitored although some older fans feel the bass is hidden to low in the mix. I think this may be due to the fact that King is using his Retroglide and Black Beauty Status basses that fans of the old Jaydees and Alembics are disapproving of. Personally - I think it's great. I always think that King will overcrowd with his lines and get in the way of the vocal but I suppose that is something he has worked on over the years by doing both at the same time and nailing the balance every time. The original feel, sound and flavour of the studio tracks is still present but with new twists and turns musically. Good light show too!

Content — 10
Unfortunately, there are no interviews for this live DVD although it does include the band's soundcheck on the main menu, obviously filmed some hours earlier. The set is amazingly well played and structured. I even enjoyed tracks I didn't like on record! A good mixture of old and new as well... 01.Dive Into The Sun 02.To Be With You Again 03.Hot Water 04.Rooted 05.World Machine 06.Retroglide 07.Leaving Me Now 08.Kansas City Milkman 09.Starchild 10.The Sun Goes Down 11.Running In The Family 12.Lessons In Love # Something About You # Dune Tune/Bass Solo # Love Games # Sleep Talking # The Chinese Way # All Around (Soundcheck)

Production Quality — 7
Professionally done but the back cover looks like it was printed off by MY printer! It serves it's purpose but is annoying seeing as the rest of the DVD (menus, disc, sleeve leaflet) is so well produced. Cool graphics, surround sound, and NTSC format. Cool stuff!

Overall Impression — 8
Some great solos from King and the band are really cooking and what's more, all the musicians get their time to shine which is nice to see (and hear) seeing as Mark is really the one everyone knows. The band are so tight and can really swing it when needed. King fans will not be disappointed - there are lots of solos to skip to! Also a great one for drummers. They may even learn a thing or two! Nathan fascinates me with his minimal playing - just what's needed. A very competent player although his tone is an acquired taste I think and he uses that one for the whole performance! All in all, very good and there really is something for everybody.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Level 42 is awesome, and it's really a shame that the only tune to break in the US was Something about you. I love watching their old concerts, just cause watching Lindup was always hilarious.