The English rock band released this greatest hits album on 29th September 2014 and includes two discs of greatest hits compiled by the band themselves. With a career spanning 26 years they have a lot to choose from.
I really like the fast paced folk rock theme of the tracks; they are so enjoyable and help you travel through the album without the feeling of getting jolted by different tempos at every turn.
“What A Beautiful Day” is a really good song; it really reminds me of Green Day so perhaps Levellers were an influence on them. It’s a really catchy track and the instrumentals all blend together seamlessly in patterns that come together like pieces of a jigsaw.
Some of the songs become really folky on this album, almost like Irish folk, it makes the songs sound more chaotic which builds suspense as the song develops. I feel like throughout these songs a lot of little life tales are being told, like a book of short stories in song form. Letting us see a little glimpse of character’s lives and allowing us to relate to or just appreciate the story.
“Burn America Burn” is one of the rockier songs on the album, almost going into punk at certain parts of the track. It seems like this song has a little more to prove than the rest of the songs. It feels angrier and has a bit more punch to it than the others.
Included in this album are features of other artists performing classic Levellers songs. Imelda May performs “Beautiful Day“, this reworking is a very good and does the song a great justice, it’s a tribute rather than trying to be a copy, she makes it her own.
“Julie” is a really nice song, it’s sad but it is performed is such a beautiful way that lets you empathise and really feel for Julie. Levellers manage to display her naivety and vulnerability that makes you listen to her life in this song and makes you want to know how her story ends.
I think that sometimes the folky side of the theme tends to overtake the rock and punk aspects of the album, so that I would find it hard to actually label the genre of this band. They have a mix, when the rock appears they are very rocky, and this is the same with the punk, but the overriding theme is definitely folk. It’s interesting how they have managed to include such contrasting genres and make them work together, although sometimes it sounds like they are competing to be the centre of attention.
Overall, I think that the songs chosen for this greatest hits album were the right choice; they are all good songs and have a place on the album. It’s great to have so many good songs in one place, and for those who could only really get into the singles can have them all together and still enjoy a lot of Levellers songs.
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