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Kayak - The Last Encore CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.45 | 79 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Kayak - The Last Encore (1976). MASTERPIECE

About a year ago I wrote a very long review for this record, but due to a mistake of my browser only a rating was sent to PA. I want to rewrite a review now, because terrible injustice is done with the low rating for this masterpiece.

Kayak was one of the first progressive artist I listened to. On the fair of Queensday (Dutch feast around the birthday of the Queen mother) I bought my first vinyl record of Kayak, The Last Encore. It was among my first ten records. My only reference was at the time Metallica and Iron Maiden and maybe Contagion of Arena. Though at first I though this record was very strange (compared to the heavy metal I used to listen), I quite liked the melodies and the songs. Even the strange high pitch voice of Max Werned did something with me. From this point a started to look for all the early work of Kayak. Their first for albums can be seen as pure symphonic prog. NO crossover to be found here.

Now about the record itself. You might not want to waste your time on buying the cd, for it sounds like crap. I might never have like this if I had only had the cd version of this. You will need the vinyl version in order to enjoy this. Kayak has a sort of artistic sound on this album. Every song is quite complicated and now it sometimes reminds me of Italian symphonic progbands like early PFM. It just doesn't sound very English. You can hear a lot different instrument on the album including the Mellotron, accordion, guitars, drums, bass, saxophone, horns and all sorts of keyinstrument including a grand piano.

The tracks, one by one for this special review.

Back to the Front is a very abrupt start for a symphonic progrecord, within seconds you are in the middle of a song. The recognisable Scherpenzeel piano sound and the tension building rhythm make this a great starting song. The lyrics are touching. The main theme of the song is dark but light begins to shine on the bridge where the vocals and the piano parts are hopefull. The perfect vocal harmonies during the 'It's only love.." part complete the song and make it a perfect opening track. 9/10

Nothingness. A great symphonic piano ballad with a abnormal high masterpiecerate! After the great voice of Max Werner and the short silence starts one of the most beatifull vocal harmonies I ever heard. Spooky, warm.. It's hard to discribe. After this we get a Piano/mellotron theme in wich Kayak shows it's perfect symphonic capabilities. GREAT! 10/10

Love of A Victim. An uptempo rocker with great guitar riffs. The rhythms of the guitar during these solo's are very original, it gives the song a confronting edge. The keyboard parts on the bridge sound original, I've never heard such a keyboard sound. 8/10

Land on the Water was born as some hitpotential was needed for a Dutch band in other to survive. The song is gentle and short. The vocals of Max Werner still make it deserve a 7/10

The Last Encore is another ballad of grand stature. The main theme is very emotional, the lyrics theatric. I don't have words to discribe the beauty of this piecefull song. 10/10

Do You Care is a song that falls in between the masterpieces. It's a great symphonic tune with some nice moogs in the melody. Again touchy. 8/10

Still my Heart Cries for you. We've had some great songs, but the best is still to come. Opening with a melodic, vulnerable theme this is the epic of this album. After the short vocal parts the symphonic adventure starts. Kayak seems to have a lot of energy here. Especially the "The image of you shall always stay with me" part is one of the greatest Kayak achievements. Great symphonic rock. The end is as beautiful as the beginning. 10/10

Relics from a distant Age. Another masterpiece! The track starts with a 2 minute piano solo with classical influences. After the opening part one of the most magical songs ever recorded arises. This is so atmospheric. Intelligent composition skills are applied with the so called church keys. Again perfect vocals of mister Werner. 11/10!

Love me Tonight/Get on Board is a kind of joke. It has a '40 atmosphere of glamorous love-affairs. So have blamed this to ruin the atmospheres of the album. I just think it's a funny track. 6/10

Evocation. From here The Last Encore becomes very dark and a bit abstract. There is tension and the atmospheres are a bit unclear. For me this sounds really magical and it touches me. I find this song artistic. The special pianopart in the middle of the song is one of the highlights of this album. 9/10

Raid Your Own House. Another dark song. The lyrics are like a story being told, a sort of dialogue from a one person's perspective. 8/10

Well Done. Like the second and third record of Kayak there is a very short concentrated ending song. Didn't they have the time to make it a full song? However this a greatly inspired piece of music about someone who thanks his mother for what she has done for him. The fact that the song is short and the massages is concentrated make this a masterpiece. 9/10.

Conclusion. A complete record with a lot of different songs, going from symphonic to classical, from rock to dark moody progressive. The vocals are an acquired taste, but you might just start to like it intensely. One of my favourite records of all time! Five Stars!

friso | 5/5 |


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