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Nektar - Evolution CD (album) cover

EVOLUTION

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.42 | 109 ratings

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Vibrationbaby
2 stars Nektar revert back to `70s progrock formulas (sort of) and although they rekindle some of their psychedelic fire from that period they just can`t stay focused long enough to cling on to any cool grooves that they do hit. There`s some glorious starts and nice instrumental layering augmented with some effective use rhythm acoustic guitars but they are still suffering from `80s AOR elevator funky funky syndrome which they just can`t seem to shake off which surfaces throughout the album. Muddlled themes already covered by the band on previous work get lost amidst lack of continuity and once again the band loses any notions of any sort identity for the 21st Centuryand periodically sound like various incarnations of Genesis, The Strawbs, Hawkwind and Rush. A pity because at the time the band was making a comeback on the live circut with stage shows which recalled the glory days of the seventies.

The most painful section on the album occurs on the second to last track entitled The Debate. They start to burn into a groovin` instrumental jam which would not have sounded out of place on earlier albums such as A Tab In The Ocean or Journey To The Centre Of The Eye which reaches a point of almost magical intensity and then it just fizzles into a meaninglessness fade out like the interuption of an orgasm just before it`s climax. The preceding tracks Always/Dancin Into the Void, which are linked musically and thematically, are by far the catchiest and most lyrically powerful tracks on the album but also meet the same fate as The Debate with with a pointless fade out. The dreamy neo-folky Child Of Mine is perhaps one of the prettiest ballads ever recorded by the band which spirals and hyptontizes with it`s theme of rebirth. Albrighton`s vocals are right on here and it`s the only track which is not flawed in some essential way. A great track to throw on the good ole ipod.

Evolution is a roller coaster ride with a thrill here and there containing a couple of decent compositions with unquestionably superb production but just leaves one scratching one`s head over all the AOR shlock which invades the album at regular intervals. While not a full blown monumental catastrophe Evolution is as close as Nektar has come to recreating the energy and ambience they possessed during their heyday on Bacillus Records and will no doubt satisfy hard core fans of the band.

Vibrationbaby | 2/5 |

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