Thursday, October 10, 2013

Level 42 - Standing in the Light

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Standing in the Light, the fourth studio album from the UK band Level 42. Following on the heels of The Pursuit of Accidents from 1982 (click here for that review), this 1983 release went to number 27 in Germany, number 25 in Sweden and number 9 in the UK.

Side one opens with “Micro-Kid”, which was released as the third single; it went to number 37 in the UK and number 25 on the US Billboard Dance chart. It has a smooth yet subdued R&B groove to it. About halfway through, though, it really explodes into a very cool jam.

The second single, “The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)”, hit number 24 in Belgium, number 18 in Ireland and number 10 in the UK. The lyrics tell of making the most of evenings out at the clubs and the pursuit of a particular lovely lady.

“Out of Sight Out of Mind”, the first single, peaked at number 41 in the UK (which was the only market it was released). The album version was a remix that included a new lead vocal as well. This one tells the story of a guy who leaves town and finds out that his girlfriend has moved on to another.

“Dance on Heavy Weather” suggests that a solution to world problems can be solved through music and movement.

Side two begins with “A Pharaoh’s Dream (Of Endless Time)”. Remember, the early 80’s were a time when all the Egyptian tombs were being investigated and covered in the media. I like the mysterious, exotic melodies woven through out this track.

The title track is next. “Standing in the Light” tells of the musical daydreams of a young student in the late 60’s.

On “I Want Eyes”, the singer is feeling the weight of the world’s troubles and is looking for some stability and hope in the eyes of the one he loves.

“People” is next.

The album closes out with “The Machine Stops”.

Standing in the Light was another new listening experience for me; I am pretty sure I had not heard any of these tracks previously. Given that, I found this to be an interesting listening experience. Level 42 really lays down some multi-textured and very funky grooves on this record that are worth checking out.

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