It’s hard not to be a fan of really good pop music, especially with the output of independent artists bringing great pop to our ear; Pop Levi is just another such character in a long line of pop musicians leaving good bands (Ladytron) to go it their own in the pop world.
Now on his second album, I’ve come to expect great things from this character, despite his tendency to look like a side-show Shakespearean actor. However, the output here is too similar to the debut album to substantially increase his value in the pop lexicon of the music industry.
His voice is quite unique, which makes it hard to distinguish changes in pitch from song to song, as his falsetto reverberates in the caverns of my mind. Even here, it seems like more effects are being used to help shape is voice, although more of that is owed to the various samples and instrumentation that weighs this album down.
There are some exceptional tracks present throughout this record, and the spacing is appropriate so as to keep our interest from start to finish. “Semi-babe” slows it down just enough to mimic an Albert Hammond Jr. ballad. It’s a different spin on his tried and true formula, immediately creating one of the more memorable moments on Never Never Love. “Mai Space” also has a similar magic to it, even though I feel as if the samples here were directly rooted in Flaming Lips Yoshimi nostalgia.
There are some missteps here too, which keeps this album from rising to the surface of a pleasant breakthrough album in 2008. Pop Levi‘s desire to imitate such greats as Prince tend to show him at his weakest moments, and frankly, his most unoriginal. Similarly, “Calling Me Down” represents a change in direction from traditional stylings, for this artist at least. When he slows it down this slow, he loses ground with his audience, which is fair enough considering the album should probably stop before the closing song, “Fountain Of Lies;” the greatest mistake I noticed.
Throughout the record, I hoped and prayed, that he could hold onto the strength of the opening bit of this album. I admire his efforts to go beyond his comfort level into new areas of pop where he was yet to traverse, but in doing so, he loses what grabbed me during his debut. What I expected to be extremely experimental in the pop vein of things, ended up retracing the steps of his past glories; when he steps off this path, he falls too far off, leaving us waiting for him back on the trail to pop glory.