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Nektar - Man In The Moon CD (album) cover

MAN IN THE MOON

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.25 | 102 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Made of cheese?

Following the departure of co-band leader Roy Albrighton and the release of one album "Magic is a child", Nektar disbanded in 1978. Principal songwriters and performers Roy Albrighton and Allan "Taff" Freeman quickly resurrected the band the following year, the drumming and bass playing positions being subject to further change. The migration from the unmistakably progressive band of the early 1970's to an AOR/pop rock outfit, which really began with 1977's "Magic is a child", continues unabated here. The songs are a mixture of upbeat sing-a-long anthems and power ballads, but always in the vein of STYX, FOREIGNER, JOURNEY, BOSTON, ETC.

The album opens with the upbeat "Too young to die", a fine if straightforward pop rock number. Certainly, the following two tracks "Angel" and "Telephone" are slower ballad type songs but their three to four minute lengths, pretty much the standard for the album, betray the fact that the songs remain undeveloped and straight forward.

And that's the way the album goes, a few faster upbeat songs, a few slower ballads, any of which would sound great on a rock radio station. There's no concept to tie the songs together, each stands or falls on its own merits. "Torraine" breaks the mould slightly, as it manages to combine a slow start with a more upbeat instrumental run through in its 5 minutes or so, and for that reason alone stands apart as at least a nod to the past.

"You're alone" is another touching ballad, Albrighton showing that vocally he is still as capable as ever. The closing title track has an impressively dramatic opening with drifting organ and cascading guitar bursts. The semi-spoken vocals over the organ are inadvertently reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Thriller"(!). There's some good synth too though, and overall the track works well.

The bonus tracks consist of an alternative version of "Too young to die" and a pseudo glam rock song best left unearthed.

It is of course easy to be over critical of such an album given Nektar's proud history in the field of prog. To be fair, when considered without preconceptions of the band and without any expectations of hearing a prog album, this is good quality pop rock which stands above the myriad of early 80's bands who were ploughing the same field.

If you're prepared to accept it on that basis, this is a pretty good album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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