Not Forgotten: The Levellers – Mouth to Mouth

Mouth to Mouth was an almost totally unexpected return to form for the usually argumentative and finger-pointing Levellers, mainly due to the fact that they dialled down their argumentative nature and finger-pointing. Mouth To Mouth is also something of an oddity for the band, as on the whole protest songs are kept to a minimum and a vibrant seam of pop-rock is mined to good effect.

The first half of the Mouth to Mouth is largely upbeat and celebratory, with songs like “Beautiful Day” and “Celebrate” sounding more optimistic and embracing than anything else they had released to date. In “Far Away” they had written an anthem with the sole purpose of giving their fans something to wave their lighters in the air to at gigs, but despite this it’s really rather good.

In the second half of the album things get a little darker, with a little of the accusational tone of yore making a return, but when it is bolted onto strong tunes like “C.C.T.V.” and “Chemically Free”, it becomes much more palatable. With “Elation” The Levellers discover the art of being sinister and brooding, and with the closing “Too Real”, not only did they release one of their best songs, but they managed to write the anti-drugs anthem that they had been attempting to write since their lack-luster self-titled third album.

Sadly Mouth To Mouth’s surprise return to form for The Levellers proved to be only temporary, and things started to inevitably decline from there, which is a real shame, because for the briefest of moments playing at being pop stars genuinely suited them.

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