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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 February 2003
I was recommended Leftfield's second release, Rhythm and Stealth, by a friend who wasn't really a fan of dance music and, having not seen that album in the shops, bought this one instead first. I was impressed from the start, yet this album has grown on me since then. It is an entirely unique record - a seamless blend of high-quality dance and ethereal chillout from a talented outfit.
Several of the tracks (or at least sections of them) will be familiar to many, as they have appeared on TV programs such as Big Brother (Original) and adverts (Release The Pressure etc). However, it is possible to get a full feel for these tracks on the album, many of which sound entirely different away from the context of TV.
I would recommend this album to any fan of dance music, but also to music fans looking to broaden their horizons a little; it is an excellent musical work and demands attention from any truly open-minded lover of music.
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on 2 November 1999
It takes a lot to impress a man who would rather listen to a four piece guitair band then a couple of talented computer whiz kids make magic on their yamaha synths and drum machines - but it all changed with this unquestionable classic album by Leftfield.
This is not an album made of hit singles and album fillers for it really does take you on a journey, just like any other clasic album should do.
From the opening bars of Release the Pressure followed by Afro Left - both of which have damaged my speakers at some time or other. Right through to the epic closing featuring Mr Pistols himself - an album that deserves to be in any real music fans collection.
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on 6 October 2005
I have around 700 CDs and this is the best of the lot. It's the only album I have which I can play all the way through. There are no fillers, no average tracks. Every single one is a highlight although 'Release the pressure', 'Space shanty' and 'Open up' just have the slightest edge over the rest. 'Leftism' is frequently mentioned as the best ever 'dance' or 'electronica' album. That's not much of a compliment considering the poor quality of 99% of dance music. IMO, the only 'dance' albums that come anywhere close are Orbital's brown album, Underworld's 'Dubnobass..' and Fluke's 'Puppy' and 'Risotto'. Nope. 'Leftism' is frankly the best album I've ever heard and is one of the few that I still play regularly, even almost a decade after its release.
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on 14 December 2000
I'm lost for words with this album, I felt reluctant to check out Rhythm and Stealth when it came out for fear that it wouldn't live up to expectations. (it did by the way)
It's a beautiful creation, 11 tracks of masterful electronic creation which demand to be listened to over and over again.
My favourite track? I don't have one, genuinely I can't pick a track that stands out as the best here because I can't fault it in any way.
If you don't own this album already, isn't it time you dug deep into your pocket and sorted out that void in your music collection?
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2006
I rate this as one of the greatest albums of all time. A collection of pulsatingly versatile tracks that trancend every musical genre and deserves to placed in the same bracket as Miles Davis´s, "A kind of Blue."
It´s a tour de force, an explration of rhythm and melody that showcases electronic music at it´s best, pushing boundaries, challenging your conceptions of space and time.
To start with "Release the pressure," has me lost in a constant daydream that I never wake up from. "Athro left," is an energetic enthnic cauldron that has me jumping up and down. Then we find the classic "Original," so delicately arranged, it´s accessible to any music fan. Listen to, "Black Flute." I like to lay back on my bed and it just pulls me along.
I bought this the day it was released and it still sounds like it was made yesterday. It´s still near the top of my very large pile of CD´s,
go buy it if you haven´t got it,
Dave
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2004
The whole album from start to finish is just absolute perfection.
The opening crackle of 'Release the Pressure' starts off what became one of the genre defining moments of the 90's. When this album was released, it was at a time in the 90's when dance/electronic music was starting to decay, but Leftfield found something left in the genre and they took it to new levels. They did what every band fears, in a way, they produced the perfect first album. How do they follow that up? Results show with 'Rhythm and Stealth', that they couldn't.
Combining techno, house, ambient, dub, reggae, drum'n'bass, they produced a wonderful album that not only sounded good on record, but was even more exciting live. If you ever saw Leftfield live you will know what I mean. If you didn't, well you missed something very special.
'Afro Left' brought Djum Djum to the fore and his singing did more to bring African stylings to a mainly white audience than anything in the rock/pop scene of the time. 'Melt' is one of the finest ambient songs, the opening siren always reminds me of a filtered diesel locomotive horn! 'Song of Life' just builds into a gorgeous haze before exploding into life. Toni Halliday guests on 'Original' and her vocals allied to the production skills of messers Barnes and Daley made this a top 20 chart hit of the time. John Lydon guests on 'Open Up', another inspired choice.
One of the best electronic albums of all time, and especially of the 90's, with only Underworld's 'Second Toughest in the Infant's' to challenge it.
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on 16 December 2007
This sounded new ten years after its release. I remember a couple of months before it came out. Leftfield had been releasing lots of tracks and the album was something to look forward to. And when it was released people were asking if one had heard this really good album.
The remarkable thing about this album is that even ten years on not only did it sound new but it also sounded considerably better than its current day competitors.
I think it may well be my desert island disc.
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2004
Before Leftfield, 90's dance was mostly House - music evolved out of dancefloors not designed for any other purpose, with rare exception.

Afterwards there was Moby, Chemical Brothers, Air, Underworld and a plethora of inspired artists who wrote songs with the magic that Leftfield created.

Every song, has true hypnotic power which send you to places the way music is meant to.

This album is why dance is the superior music form. It has soul, it has beats, it has everything that scientifically engineered music would have; every tune hits the spot and goes where you're head wants it to.

This album has been ripped off and used on T.V. programmes and all over the place, though it is still a definitive work that made 90's dance a form music not just background noise, which is something the Prodigy could never achieve without reggae and soul.

Buy this album and see the future.
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on 6 June 2009
Never was former Sex Pistol John `Johnny Rotten' Lydon's caustic nasal whine put to better use than on the lead single `Open Up' that catapulted Leftfield into the pantheon of dance music greats. The shuddering, shimmering, relentless sonic cathedral of sound just forces you to get up and dance, and the remainder of the album ain't half bad either.
In the mid 90s, this album's mix of electro, soul, ambient, dub, reggae, and even house music, blew the competition away, and along with the likes of `Faithless', `Prodigy', `Massive Attack', `Portishead', and `Basement Jaxx, ushered in a new era of articulate, intelligent Dance music.
Like many others I eagerly snapped up a copy of follow-up CD `Rhythm and Stealth', which was more `Trip-Hop' oriented and less innovative. While still a decent enough album, Leftfield never hit the heights that the sublime `Leftism' reached, again. Like a fine wine, this just gets better with age; buy it, absorb it; savour it for years to come.
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on 14 December 1999
This album will open your eyes to the world of Leftfield. This is one of the best albums of the 90's, groundbreaking at the time and many artists have attempted to simulate its sound. Each track has its own personality, from the mellowing Melt to the more 'vocal' Open Up with Sex Pistols singer John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon. There is something in this album for everyone, and now at the cheap end of the market its even better. If you don't buy this, you may aswell chuck your stereo in the bin and cut your ears off, yes,it is really that good!!!!!
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