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Pop Levi - Never Never Love

Pop Levi, Never Never Love

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

POP Levi won the hearts of critics with his debut LP The Return To Form Black Magick Party thanks to his refreshing blend of “astral” pop and psychedelia. Sadly, the album failed to ignite with listeners the way it should.

He returns, undaunted, with sophomore effort Never Never Love and continues to impress with his eccentricities, quirkiness and leftfield cool.

Recorded in Hollywood at Quincy Jones’ old studio, Westlake, where both Thriller and Off The Wall were laid down, Levi now blends transitional psych-rockers with kooky pop and even soul.

It’s a glorious avant-pop LP that’s brimming with creativity and brilliance, from the sharp electronic funky shuffle of former single and album favourite Dita Dimone (we defy you not to sing along, even though this is essentially a break-up anthem) to the strings-laced comedown of final track Fountain of Lies.

In between, there’s the heartfelt longing of psychedelia-laced acoustic space-folk classic-in-waiting Semi-Babe with its wonderful lyrics (“whether right or wrong, she’s got 37 numbers on her phone”) and the effervescent positivity of title track Never Never Love (which is surely endearing kookiness personified).

Fire On Your Feet, meanwhile, cuts a funky strut towards the dancefloor like some ’70s soul pimp, while Mai’s Space is an appealing blend of electro-reggae. Levi’s vocals on that track are almost baby-like, but it’s this blissful naivety and fresh-faced innocence that adds to his appeal.

The hits keep on coming, with You Don’t Gotta Run emerging as another heartfelt pop favourite, Oh God (What Can I Do) qualifying as a retro shot at T-Rex glam-rock, and Everything & Finally dabbling in the smooth groove R&B style of Prince, circa Diamonds & Pearls.

Love You Straight is a cheesy pop song given astral cool thanks to Pop Levi’s quirky production values and there’s an endearingly wonky dub surrounding Call The Operator. The pianos come out, meanwhile, for late slow-burner Calling Me Down, which again finds Pop Levi wrestling with some darker emotions.

The most impressive thing to emerge from Never Never Love, though, is the fact that it barely puts a foot wrong no matter how many times Pop Levi changes pace or style. In that sense, it’s a consistently adventurous attention grabber that solidifies Levi’s position as one of the brightest new acts of the day. Now, let the public finally catch up and take notice…

Download picks: Never Never Love, Dita Dimone, Semi-Babe, Mai’s Space, You Don’t Gotta Run, Everything & Finally, Love You Straight

Track listing:

  1. Wannamama
  2. Never Never Love
  3. Dita Dimone
  4. Semi Babe
  5. Fire On Your Feet
  6. Mai’s Space
  7. You Don’t Gotta Run
  8. Oh God (What Can I Do)
  9. Everything And Finally
  10. Love You Straight
  11. Call The Operator
  12. Calling Me Down
  13. Fountain Of Lies