Hawkwind
Take Me to Your Leader


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (45 Reviews)
September 10th, 2013 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The death of Hawkwind, and their subsequent rebirth.

Hawkwind – A trip through space, Part XXIV Back into the Past.

Take me to your Leader shows that Hawkwind are actually a phoenix. Before this album Hawkwind appeared on their last legs, Spacebrock was a poor outing and the band hadn't released anything truly worthwhile for a long period of time. Take me to your Leader however, shows not just signs of rebirth, but also of new growth for these venerable veterans of space rock.

To say that this is entirely a Hawkwind album would be a little bit of a lie, instead this album is dedicated to Hawkwind and friends. Take me to your leader contains a rather large list of additional members, all of which only appear on a track or two.

On this album, Hawkwind are:

Dave Brock – guitar, vocals, keyboards
Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals, keyboards
Richard Chadwick – drums, percussion and programming

Along with;
James Clemas – organ (tracks 1 and 7)
Matthew Wright – vocals (track 1)
Jez Huggett – saxophone (tracks 2 and 6)
Jason Stuart – keyboards (tracks 3 and 4)
Simon House – keyboards and violin (tracks 7 and 9)
Arthur Brown – vocals (tracks 7 and 10)
Lene Lovich – vocals (track 9)

Take me to your Leader starts off with a remake of the track 'Spirit of the Age', which originally appeared on the Quark, Strangeness and Charm album. In a bizarre twist of fate, the new track might actually be superior to the old one with its modern sounding cracks and pops. The lyrics to this new track are slightly different to the old one, showing either adaptability or a mild case of musical dementia. However, this new track is much faster paced and flows a lot better. Matthew Wright does Robert Calvert proud with his take on this track.

But Take me to your Leader isn't a case of Hawkwind retracing old ground in an attempt to find greatness, the album instead grabs a machete and begins to hack its way through the undergrowth on a path of freedom. Tracks like 'Out Here We Are' are much slower and thoughtful, they contain an excellent mix of both drumming and synthetic styles, which sound much more modern than anything Hawkwind had done before. With five years between this and Spacebrock, it is clear that Hawkwind spent much of this time researching new ways to make music. Some of the best parts of this album are when Saxophonist Jez Huggett joins the fray, his excellent work bringing the band to whole new heights.

Hawkwind bring a lot more style with them on this record, and this album does contain a fair share of influences, both old and modern. Songs like 'Digital Nation' would sound at home on a Radiohead album, whilst other parts sound similar to music released from post-rock artists. Take me to your Leader happens to be the most consistent Hawkwind album released in years, and some of the tracks sit at the high-end of anything released by the band. 'Sunray' is a musical wonder, with Arthur Brown's distinctive voice going perfectly with the band's upbeat sound.

The final track 'A letter to Robert' brings home something that Hawkwind have always had an issue with; feeling. It is a conversation between Arthur and deceased vocalist Robert Calvert, a man who suffered painfully for his greatness. As you listen to the ramblings of Calvert, you gain a sudden sense of realisation. This album isn't about Hawkwind, this is a dedication to one of their most important members, with Take me to your Leader, Robert Calvert sings once more.



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (12)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
September 10th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Hawktrain is back on the rails!

dante1991
September 11th 2013


552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A 4.0? Sweet, need to check this out, one of the few Hawks I never got round to hearing. Must be an under-rated little album considering the current average rating.

Nice review man, good to see you're getting back into it. Have a tasty pos.

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really is good, it's nearly impossible to find anywhere except youtube really.

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


FINALLY Hoppoman's Hawkwind is back, I was missing it ;)

Sounds interesting if it's anything as good as Blood of The Earth or Onward... why do you think the average's so low if this is a 4.0 for you?

dante1991
September 11th 2013


552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If it's on youtube, I'll try and give a few tracks a shot later. Any personal recommendations?

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


It's not on Spotify which is surprising, considering the 10,000 Hawkwind compilations on there

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This one never made it big. There is something about this album that makes it special, it is almost as if Hawkwind had their soul back. This then leads into Onward, Blood and Stellar Variations.

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


Makes me quite exited actually, the sudden realisation of a new good Hawkwind album :D definitely gonna give it a go

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You should, although it took me a good half decade to find a full copy online :P

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


Bam, 30 seconds. http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/2005+Take+Me+To+Your+Leader/8169622

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not bad :P

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


"You better watch yourself, there's a fox turd over there"

Just jammed it - not bad at all, in the 3-3.5 region for me. Some of the vocals don't fit very well which is a bit of a bummer for me but this is definitely not deserving of a 2.8 average.

You didn't mention the concept of the album in your review, which seems pretty important and interesting to me - sex with robots.

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hawkwind have been having sex with robots since 1977 :P This album deserves a lot more credit than it deserves.

Mad.
September 11th 2013


4194 Comments


Ah right, I've never really properly delved into post-Warrior (up to this) Hawkwind, it never appealed to me that much so thought the sex robots thing was new. It is pretty prominent here, is that common or...?

Hoppoman
September 11th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hawkwind have a bizarre sense of humour, if you listen to the lyrics of their stuff and the stuff from Dave Brock, you find all sorts of weird shit. Even the name Hawkwind means 'phlegm fart'.

Mad.
September 12th 2013


4194 Comments


Lol that's brilliant, never knew that 'Hawk' had anything to do with phlegm though. I'll never look at this band in the same way...

Hoppoman
September 12th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aye, the band was named after Nik Turner's phlegm filled hawking, and his terrible wind problem :P

Mad.
September 12th 2013


4194 Comments


Well that is eye-opening xD



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