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Pop Levi Never Never Love Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

This indie-pop trickster loves to mix up psychedelic motifs, glam-rock scams,...

Sid Smith 2008

The indie pop trickster from LA, who has enjoyed stints with Super Numeri and time with Ladytron, loves to mix up psychedelic motifs, glam-rock scams, subliminal pop sonics, electronics and rock. Imagine Mud (you know, ''that’s right, that's neat I really love your Tiger Feet'') crossed with Led Zeppelin's Black Dog and you have some idea of the who'da-thunk-it mix-up that is the opening big bang of Wannamamma.

The audacity of this iconoclastic combination is initially striking and startling in a so-bad-it's-good kind of way. Yet within a few minutes of this self-style assault and disassembling of popular culture, what at first appeared audacious quickly begins to wear thin and becomes simply tedious. Very quickly it's so bad it’s just, er, bad.

Like some musical alchemist, perhaps Pop Levi is attempting to turn base metal into gold. Perhaps he is on some visionary quest seeking a greater truth about the world by sifting through the things it throws away. Perhaps the man who once claimed to develop his writing through the occult practice of scrying, finds connections and ineffable correspondences between musical bodies that would ordinarily cancel each other out.

Thus in Pop Levi's world the Bay City Rollers lay down Dub, The Sweet play Springsteen at his own game, and Rick Astley is the new Nick Lowe. Perhaps all of this is possible in the world of a performer who, in addition to his psychic-inspired song writing, has also declared he wants be a giant cult.

Or perhaps he's just having a laugh.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

Showcasing all the emotional and spiritual depth of a gnat, he struts, pouts and cartwheels through 13 songs like some hyperactive kid in a frenzy of self-absorbed prattle. Just when you think it can't get any worse, any more gormless, or any more contrived, along comes the blue-eyed reggae tosh of Mai's Space. Sounding like Cher on helium, this is exactly the kind of abomination Jonathan King used to come up with.

If pop music is meant to be utterly disposable, trivial and forgettable then this record is a triumph.

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