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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but very good!
Since "Mouth to Mouth" (a departure form the Levs established sound in my opinion) I have waited for another album to see what they would do next.
This album is different again but still distinctly the Levellers. The whole album has an edgy feel to it, even on tracks like "Dreams" which starts like a 'traditional' Mark Chadwick ballad until...
Published on 7 Sep 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth waiting for!
Being a diehard Levs fan does not mean blindly liking anything put forward. This album (even after repeated plays) is very poor. This is not a patch on Zeitgiest or Levelling the Land and has not been worth the 3 year wait. Sold Enlgand gives you a small reminder of better times and 61 minutes of pleading and Edge of The World are good tracks. It has now gone in the...
Published on 29 Sep 2000


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but very good!, 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
Since "Mouth to Mouth" (a departure form the Levs established sound in my opinion) I have waited for another album to see what they would do next.
This album is different again but still distinctly the Levellers. The whole album has an edgy feel to it, even on tracks like "Dreams" which starts like a 'traditional' Mark Chadwick ballad until Jon's fiddle starts to howl........
I won't bore everyone with a track by track review so here's a quick breakdown (in no particular order) Great Tracks: "Sold England", " Edge of the World", "Do it Again Tomorrow", "Voices on the Wind", "Invisible", "Dreams". Bizarre Tracks (doesn't make them bad!): "The Weed that Killed Elvis", "Modern Day Tragedy". Track of the album: "61 Minutes of Pleading" If you remember this incident in the (UK) news, this song hits the nail right on the head.
All in all a damn good album, play it twice in a row and you will be hooked! Then see 'em on tour!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpectedly superb, 3 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
For a band with a supposedly revolutionary agenda, it is ironic that the Levellers have such conservative fans. This album is a departure from the rockier sound of their previous material, with swirly, almost psychedelic production at times. It's also absolutely fantastic. The songs are still just as stirring, and Mark Chadwick is as good a singer as ever. In fact, '61 seconds...' is better than anything they've done before, and some of the textures and rhythms provide the album with more sustained interest than anything else they've done. Just a shame that the stylistic changes were enough to put off the fans, who clearly wanted a remake of Levelling the Land.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piggin' Perfect!, 9 Feb 2003
This review is from: Hello Pig [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Brighton-based Levellers, over the years ( 15 years to be precise,) have often been referred to as such well-worn (and sometimes tiresome) titles as " kings of crusty" or "new age rockers" and more often that not are perceived as having scruffy clothes, dogs on strings and an ever present sense of anarchy against anything remotely authorative. Some of this may possibly be true, but most importantly the Levs have at their centre a respect for nature and humane values, that we would all find in ourselves if we looked. Their music is typically a cross-breed of folk and rock, the fiddle, the mandolin and heavy guitars being their trademark sound. The boys have remained true to their roots through out their career, and the first five albums reflect this (if anything becoming slightly more commercial). "Hello Pig" released in september 2000 was somewhat a departure from previous albums. Before it's recording the band had said, they had wanted to go "back to basics", but somehow the complete opposite happened. The album opens with "Happy Birthday Revolution" the first and only single released from this collection, and gives no indication whatsoever as to what's ahead. The phrase "drinking song" springs to mind. Next is a couple collaborations with long time chum and fellow "Drunk in Public" Rev Hammer. "The Weed That Killed Elvis" in particular is somewhat experimental and raw sounding, taking the band to a place they never commited to song before. Next is the beautiful "Edge of the World", a piano based ballad, layered with Jon Sevink's as ever spine-tingling fiddle melodies. Simon Friend takes centre stage for the next track. "Do It Again Tomorrow" is the sound of a man inspired and content by the state of his life, and is extremely uplifting. Friend's other contributions "Voices on the Wind" and "Modern Day Tragedy" are two more gems in a long line of spiritually inspiring "Simon Songs". 61 Minutes of Pleading tells the story of a woman who has to go through the agony of bleeding to death after being shot by her husband. A dark and disturbing departure from what is generally seen as "Levelleresque", yet the song is also a grand epic of beautiful harmonies, strings and acoustic guitar, that never fails to stir. Mark Chadwick's unique voice provides the depth of emotion needed for such a song and (as always) does not fail to deliver the beauty and darkness inherent in the song. "Red Sun Burns" is simply divine. An intro comprised of fiddle and guitar that would melt the heart of the soulless of men. The Levellers have never sounded so sweet. The album ends with "Gold & Silver". It follows straight on from the previous track, concept album style, and provides this collection with an all out grand finale for The Levellers grandest album. Grand piano and harmonies Brian Wilson would kill for, complete with, full on orchaestral break, that sets the nerves tingling. Possibly their finest moment. Although "Hello Pig" was originally meant to be a return to common ground, it turned out to be a creature (not necessarily pink!) that the Levs should be proud of. A sort of "I'm glad that's over" had-to-be-done record, that provides a new area in the Levellers history. This fact aside the band still have all the old vibes about them. "Hello Pig" is still recognisably Levellers. "Piggin' Perfect!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of those ones which may grow on me, 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
OK, I admit it, I've been a huge Levellers fan since being exposed to 'Levelling the Land' and 'Levellers' in school, so I was looking forward to this one. When I listened to it the first time, I have to admit I wasn't sure, but then again this is the best sort of album, because (like the Fun Lovin' Criminals debut) it grows from there and the melodies have been imprinted on my brain. Now I've had chance to listen to it a few more times, I can say that there are 7 songs which are worth the price alone and the others are going to need another few listens. If you like a decent, honest tune, then I can't say more than 'buy this'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated, under-listened, 14 May 2002
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
In the past, regardless what the Levellers brought out I would love it and this was no exception. A bit less 'listenable' perhaps but first impressions were good. However, after plentiful listning, most levs albums, and i include Levelling The land in this, tire. I say tire but dont really mean it, perhaps sound predictable, but that sounds silly!
Anyway my point is that after listening to this album for two years, it sounds a darn sight better than it did at first.
I know a lot of levs fans who hate this album, i challenge them to open their minds, listen to this album many times, and be amazed what you gain from it.
The critisisms I have of this album are two fold, one i think the order the songs are arranged doesn't help. If you can be bothered, arrange the tracks in the order they appear in the sleeve. Secondly, Sold England is by far worse than 'broken circles' on 'Levllers' and if someone can explaine what Modern Day Tragedy is supposed to do for anyone i'd greatly appreciate it!
On a more positive note, 'do it again tomorrow' is by favorite, Simon and Mark having the share of the vocals goes down well. 'The Weed that killed Elvis' is possibly the most 'different' song i've ever heard. 'Walk Lightly's origninality in a levs sence is great. 'Dreams' is a great build up to '61 mins' definitly the best levs song ever (although they play it too slow live) 'invisable' is different 'red sun burns' and 'gold and silver' are both good songs but dont compare to '61 mins' which preceeds them.'Voices on the wind' is another excellent haunting Simon Friend number. 'Happy Birthday@ was probably too slow, not catchy enough and too political for a single. If '61 mins' had been the single the album would have sold far more. But hindsight is a wonderful thing!
At the end of the day everone who has heard of the levs has a picture of what the levs sound like. And it has to be said this album doesn't sound like the sound that people would expect of the Levellers. As no-one heard the single, no new potential fans had their opinions of the levs changed and the majority of traditional levs fans didn't like the change away from the norm.
If this album were a gamble it would have been a failure, if enough people heard it often enough the levs could have gone global, perhaps! I'm just glad they did it and i have it. Perhaps they should have realeased it under a new name or something?(a la Gorrilaz)
Anyway, listen to the album like this, go by the order in the sleave, but miss out modern day tragdy and Sold England, also put dreams before 61 mins for full enjoyment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth waiting for!, 29 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
Being a diehard Levs fan does not mean blindly liking anything put forward. This album (even after repeated plays) is very poor. This is not a patch on Zeitgiest or Levelling the Land and has not been worth the 3 year wait. Sold Enlgand gives you a small reminder of better times and 61 minutes of pleading and Edge of The World are good tracks. It has now gone in the collection with all the others but won't be getting many outings. Mark has an excellent voice and doesn't need it ruined by machines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 8 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
Having listened to the album, I feel that the band have departed from their strength, in that the fiddle and electric guitars seem to be have been bansihed, to be replaced by voice synthesizers and a pop style of music. It amazes me that the band who produced unbelievably good albums like Levelling the Land and Zeitgeist could release this.
Edge of the World and Do It Again Tomorrow are the only songs worth a hearing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 24 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
To my ears the Levellers have always sounded like a cross between the Alarm and the Waterboys, with a dash of Lennon-style melodic charm thrown in for good measure. Having said that, the group is highly original and perhaps the most under-rated band of our times. The Levellers are then, IMHO, one of the best bands to come out of Britain in the last 10 years or so. This album is a move away from the fiddle-dominated stomping style of their earlier albums and is a welcome move (the early style was in danger of becoming a straitjacket). Sure, the frantic fiddle features on this album, but in a more subtle and discreet way than on previous discs. When I first put it on, I thought I'd put on a Lennon or late-period Beatles CD, such is the Lennon influence on the opening track (no bad thing and at least it's Lennonesque in a pleasing way unlike the monotone dirge produced by Gallagher & co). As each song plays, it just gets better and better and we hear the Levellers trying out new textures and sounds -piano/strings combinations, voice vocoders, atmospheric synth sounds, etc. This is an excellent album with superb tunes. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 Jan 2001
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
Having been to an excellent live show @ Leicester in December, I got this for Christmas but was disappointed. This album might win some new converts, but will do nothing for their established fans. A message to the band - get back to what you're good at - this new style / sound does not suit you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not what you would expect from the Levellers, 27 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hello Pig (Audio CD)
Having been listening to the Levellers now for 10 years, I am getting used to their ever changing styles.However,no album they have made since weapon of the word and levelling the land has really had the same effect on me.
The same goes for "hello pig",to me it seems they are trying again to appeal to the mainstream audience.I think true Levellers fans wil be diappointed ny the album.I love the folky fiddle driven music of the levellers,and yet again they seem to be moving away from this.
It is disappointing but it is still a good album,i won't be listening as much to it though, as I do levelling the land.
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