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THE LEVELLERS ‘Truth And Lies’ Eagle Records (2005)

Amazingly the Levellers have been going now since 1988 and have had considerable chart success in both album and singles terms. ‘One Way Of Life’ and ‘It’s A Beautiful Day ‘ are certifiable classics! Now they are back with a new album and one that keeps all the band’s key elements - rousing anthems, superb violin and a punk twist to the overall sound - but adds a few modern touches mainly in the production and the use of a few dance loops here and there.

Vocalist Mark Chadwick still has a fine voice and when the harmonies kick in like on the rousing opener ‘Last Man Alive’ you know you are onto a good album. The single ‘Make U Happy’ isn’t bad at all and could easily give the band another chart placing. Elsewhere ‘Confess’ starts with an Eastern tinge before panning out into a ballad, whilst ‘Wheels’ sees the violin playing of Jon Sevnik going into overdrive and with its catchy chorus this track could easily be the next single.

A classic album and one that will keep the Levellers in the limelight and rightly so. They are like the a modern day Fairport Convention in that they attract legions of loyal fans and can have considerably success outside of the music mainstream (and also like Fairport they have their own annual festival in August). Simply a wonderfully enjoyable album.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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