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Nektar - Recycled CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.79 | 294 ratings

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3 stars Water and air, the two essential fluids on which life depends, have become global garbage cans - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Nektar laments the excrutiatingly slow but inevitable anihilation of planet Earth by our own hand. This is stark subject matter that one might expect to find on a Hawkwind album, but Nektar delivers a take on this ominous topic in a less frightening manner than would be expected both musically and lyrically. It is a plea and a warning to the listener that as the species in charge it is up to mankind himself to mend the wounds he has inflicted upon mother nature through his bumbling disregard for her gifts. He must learn that her benevolence comes with many conditions unless he wishes to feel her wrath. To many critics this album was conceptually ahead of it`s time when it was released in 1975 during a period when planet Earth was enduring an energy crisis which should have served as some sort of fore-warning in itself. Whether or not it was ahead of it`s time, it certainly came along at the right time if one also remembers other potential fates which were beginning to greet us at the time. From that gaping hole in the skies of Antarctica to the demise of a number of wildlife species at the top of the ecological food chain including the bald eagle and in particular the osprey as result of widespread DDT spraying. The gradual destruction of last bastions of paradise such as the Galapogos Islands as result of being overun by tourism and the loss of vast areas of the rainforests were also becoming more serious concerns as well are touched on here as well.

An introductory fanfare initiated ceremoniously by a kettle drum roll with magnificent synth passages ( Courtesy of Synergy`s Larry Fast ) establishes a spacious aura which will pervade over most of the work and will keep the listener engaged as much as possible despite it`s rather gloomy messages. Predictably, the work moves conceptually through various themes which remind of us the decay of our planet through mankind`s usual bumbling mistakes. It contains an air of irony to it in that it is actually an overall pleasant listen despite it`s dark warnings. It`s as if Nektar is saying : here`s a nice record for you to listen to, but we`re still on a collision course with ecological armageddon and we`re constantly going to remind you of this throughout our nice record. At times, the music will briefly acquire a gloomy air with cynical march of the clowns-like passages which serve as musical metaphors and emphasis when refering to mankind`s blunders. Automation Horrorscope could have easily been a Hawkwind track from PXR 5 and we also get some guitar playing which could be likened to some Steve Howe Yes passages. But for the most part the work tries to remain optimistic and some lively carib-beat passages on Costa Del Sol are employed, albeit in a cynical manner, to contrast with the stark messages the band wants to drive home. The English Chorale ( arranged by Christian Kolonovits who also worked with Omega on the orchestrations for their 1975 Hall Of The Floaters In The Sky album ) is also employed in this way to rather beautiful effect on Unendless Imaginations. Some of the music enters into the realm of cheesytown from time to time with Marvelous Moses being perhaps the best example of this. It can get a little annoying save for some fine lines from Roye Albright`s guitar and Larry Fast`s synth texturizing which make it not entirely unbearable.

Unfortunately, the album suffers from musical inconsistence and can get a little unfocussed . But at the same time it contains enough variety to stay interesting and comes to a rather lovely meloncholic conclusion with the appropriately titled track, It`s All Over, which is a final appeal to mankind and the important decisions which lie ahead if all is to be well. By far not a Close To The Edge but as a concept album, definitely more in tune with reality conceptually covering an enduring theme which is perhaps even more relevant today than it perhaps was back in `75. Unfortunately it also tells us is that we haven`t covered much ground in 30 odd years since it`s release. I`ll add star to three as well as accolades to the band for well placed thoughtfulness.

Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |


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