UNKLE: The Road: Part II / Lost Highway (Songs For The Def) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  

UNKLE

The Road: Part II / Lost Highway

Songs For The Def

Apr 02, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


James Lavelle has been one of the most innovative names in music for nigh on a quarter of a century. As the founder member, main songwriter and producer with UNKLE, he initially found fame with the guest-heavy debut album Psyence Fiction, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Since then he's continued to push the envelope not only with his main project, but also with dozens of artists whose records he's written and played on or produced.

So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the latest UNKLE album features an impressive guest list of collaborators including former Clash guitarist Mick Jones and Editors' frontman Tom Smith. Following hot on the heels of 2017's The Road: Part I, The Road: Part II / Lost Highway has been described as a mix tape of sorts by its creator. Containing a mammoth 22 compositions in total including several interlude pieces, all of which were recorded around the same time as its predecessor, The Road: Part II / Lost Highway can be heavy going at times, but there's still enough going on here to justify its existence.

The spoken word "Iter VIII: However Vast the Darkness" offers a prophetic "However vast the darkness, we must provide our own light" as a chilling reminder of the uncertain times we find ourselves in. The menacing trip hop of "Crucifixion / A Prophet" and chilled out vibes on "Find an Outsider" stand proudly alongside anything Lavelle has put his name to in the past. Better still is "Kubrick," a laidback strum that owes as much to late period Beatles as it does Radiohead's earlier moments of glory.

However, the icing on the cake comes courtesy of "Touch Me," a high energy banger featuring The Duke Spirit's Liela Moss on vocals that clocks in at six seconds short of six minutes and wouldn't sound out of place on any dancefloor whatever the era. (www.unkle.info)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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