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Customer Review

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 'hmm, where shall we go from here?' album, 13 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Astounding Sounds; Amazing Music (Audio CD)
I appreciate fully the previous reviewer's (Jim) eloquence in his even-handed review of 'ASAM', but sadly I cannot share his enthusiasm - I have been desperately trying to like this album ever since I bought it in the late 70's but, unlike virtually all of their 70's output, it still refuses to endear itself to me! For me, the reason I feel that this was 'wind's only Achilles heel between '70 and '78 is that it has a Janus-like feel to it which sounds as if it's trying too hard to be streamlined and contemporary (for the day) while simultaneously being unable to convincingly shake off the shackles of their established scuzzy space-biker sonic attack - whether this is down to a conflict in musical direction between Dave Brock and Bob Calvert in one corner or Alan Powell/Paul Rudolph/Nik Turner in the other I don't know (all I know is that the last three were fired before their next album). Anyway, this results in a rather uncertain collection that ultimately doesn't really know what it wants to be. Nevertheless, if it's ultimate purpose for posterity was to serve as a precursor for the peerless 'Quark' album that followed the year after then this album was worth being hamstrung with the reputation of being the lame duck in Hawkwind's '70's canon.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Feb 2009, 09:32:28 GMT
Paul M says:
Although i feel more sympathetic towards Astounding Sounds [ Steppenwolf for example is Calvert at his best], i think your review highlights Hawkwinds mid Seventies dilemma brilliantly, and makes several good points.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2009, 16:42:02 GMT
I appreciate the kind words. I have been a fan long enough to realise that attempting to review Hawkwind objectively rather than slavishly is always going to polarise opinion. I wish I had the time to provide a track-by-track breakdown, but, alas, it couldn't happen, so I thought it better to stick to briefly explaining why this album has frustrated me down the years. Thanks for understanding what I was trying to say.

Posted on 11 May 2009, 21:23:04 BST
I agree completely. The album starts with a superb riff, dripping with that phased guitar effect, and then gradually goes downhill throughout (bar a brief rally for Kadu Flyer). I also tried so hard to like it, for years. But QS&C rules, so all is forgiven.

Posted on 4 Feb 2011, 14:21:40 GMT
matt black says:
There is no achillies heel here,just another great album.
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