Coterie 1191


rovi.MR0000772569 Used
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    Coterie 1191 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol

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Review Text After his acrimonious split with Guy Chadwick and his exit from the House of Love, Terry Bickers wasted little time assembling Levitation. Throughout 1991, the band showed remarkable promise both in live performance and on its first batch of EPs and singles. Many of Levitation's peers were also rediscovering the late '60s and early '70s and drawing on progressive and psychedelic sources, but few took such a literal approach. This is well-documented by Coterie, which compiles material from Levitation's early releases (the Coppelia and After Ever EPs and the "Squirrel" single), some of it in live versions. Whereas Bickers' former band was known for its catchy guitar pop, from the outset, Levitation eschewed the directness of hook-based songs in favor of more expansive, at times grandiose, fare. Critics were divided: Some in the music press lauded Levitation as a leader of the neo-prog movement and others labeled the band a "bunch of hippies" unable to write "proper songs." Notwithstanding the playful, minute-long psychedelic swirl of "Nadine," much of this album showcases Levitation's talent for spacious, textured, almost Baroque arrangements. A live rendition of the melancholy "Smile" builds unhurriedly over eight minutes; the seven-minute "It's Time" shimmers and floats, punctuated by an ebb and flow in intensity recalling Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd. Numbers like "Paid in Kind" and "Squirrel" provide solid evidence of Levitation's ability to rock with urgency and immediacy, while the ten-minute "Bedlam" combines the two aspects of the group's identity, blending epic atmospherics with the kind of sonic disturbance its title suggests. The material collected on Coterie launched the band toward greater things and the first proper album, 1992's Need for Not, realized the group's potential more fully. Unfortunately, following Bickers' departure the following year, Levitation would soon be permanently grounded. ~ Wilson Neate

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Firefly
  2. 2. Squirrel
  3. 3. Rosemary Jones
  4. 4. It's Time
  5. 5. Nadine
  6. 6. Smile
  7. 7. Paid in Kind
  8. 8. Bedlam

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