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Updated: 6 days ago

After the well-received 2023 album “The Future Never Waits”, Hawkwind’s 36th (!) album has arrived. There are lots of piano. choral effects and soaring guitars on reflective opening ballad, ‘Our Lives Can’t Last Forever’, an OK start in an overture of sorts for the start of the swirling, swishing, swooping (etc!) synths and flowing guitar prevalent in the 7:40 of ‘The Starship (One Love, One Life)’ as our journey into space begins. The sax and guitar riffs of ‘What Are We Going to Do While We’re Here’, and the following piece ‘the Tracker’, failed to pull me in, I’m afraid. It all starts to become somewhat predictable and formulaic; more thought given to the lyrics and musical variation might have helped. Unfortunately, it all seems very cluttered on ‘Til I Found You’ which has some really nice moments that get lost in the mix. The melodies and riffs are certainly not among the most memorable in Hawkwind’s venerable history, but the instrumentals do provide some thoughtful texture. I waited with anticipation for the 7-minute plus ‘Traveller of Time & Space’ for the album to catch fire but it still seemed rather laboured (except for half way through the tempo changes and some edgy piano gave the first hint of a more experimental approach - ‘Re-generate’ also, which after a slow start got into a solid groove with an effective riff and piano/ synth combination). I enjoyed ‘Frozen in Time’ which brought me back to the first time I heard the band’s 1970 debut album.


Overall, my feelings about “Stories from Time and Space” are mixed. I am glad they are still here and making music and the electric piano and classic Hawkwind guitar sound in the somnolent groove of closing instrumental ‘Stargazers’ reminded me of halcyon days, but I could not help but feel that this brave venture into making another concept album only partially succeeds, and in places, sounds like a distant echo of a glorious past.


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