Level 42 actually started out as an instrumental jazz/funk band, before eventually bringing in the vocals of Mark King and keyboardist Mike Lindup, and that is reflected on this debut, where three of the eight tracks are instrumental.
Throughout their successful career, the band was notable mostly for King's slap-bass playing, which gave them a distinctive funky sound, one that was instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with them, although the pleasant vocals were also capable of drawing listeners in, as well as of course, some catchy songs.
Featuring a decent blend of bass, shimming keyboards, and occasional lively guitar moments, this record's two most notable tracks are the opening "Turn It On" and "Almost There", while the instrumentals are reasonable overall, although it almost sounds like the band are still trying to settle on what their sound should be, and there are moments of over-indulgence as a result.
I actually came to Level 42 through finding their vinyl records in secondhand shops. I don't think I'd heard any of their hits beforehand, as they weren't all that successful in Australia (or if they were, I wasn't familiar with them), so it's kind of surprising that I enjoy them as much as I do. But there's something very likeable and unassuming about the group. They didn't make the papers for bad behaviour, and I don't think they were involved in sex scandals or suchlike.
They preferred to simply go about their thing, and their thing just does it for me. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor