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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.27 | 635 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's Heavy, it's Symphonic, it's Quirky, it's Beautiful, it's KHAN!

This relatively unknown supergroup with it's one and only album released in 1972(!!) is probably one of the finest albums ever made by a supergroup in terms of clear genius on the song-writing department with a complete eclecticism in terms of playing a wide array of various styles all in a Prog-fashioned way.

To begin with oddities for the Canterbury fan, Khan opens up the album in a Atomic Rooster kind of way with a blasting organ/guitar riff and daring vocals. However don't let this fool you, the title track also goes through some wonderful symphonic-esque interludes with Dave's classical organ plus a completely spacey passage with Steve's guitar. As a whole, a very engaging introduction with the exception of the vocal duties that can put someone off, fortunately in the rest of the songs the vocal duties are by no means a flaw if not a special feature.

Next song is Stranded which is quite the opposite to the title track, meaning that the heaviness barely shows and as a replacement to that(the heaviness) there's a completely peaceful mood played with lots of delicacy. While of course the instruments are responsbile of this beautiful tranquility, the main feature of this mood actually is Steve Hillage's lovely voice singing with a lot of care and gentleness, totally adore his voice in this tune.

Mixed Up Man of the Mountains, on the other hand, brings back the rock-mood of the opener. But like Khan showed us on the opener, they're not used to staying in one style for too long, so expect a lot of variation in this song too. This time with greater effect, since the vocals are not a flaw and the instrumental passages are extremely memorable wtih Steve being the highlight with his rockin' guitar .

Driving to Amsterdam, while it opens in a rather fast paced manner with intricating organ and guitar, later it completely cools down giving space to Steve to liberate his splendid vocals. However, Steve is not the main feature like he was in Stranded, if not Dave Stewart with his mind-blowing hammond organ that reminds me of Dave Sinclair. This song is the perfect mix of Stranded's beauty and Mixed Up Man of the Mountain's excellent variety and musicianship.

Stargazers is next and it introduces itself in a very quirky way very alike Gentle Giant. However, the rest of the song barely has anything to do with that quirkiness of Gentle Giant. Steve Hillage delivers a magnificent guitar solo in the middle before the quirky intro reprises. The song finalises with a marvellous solo by Dave.

The album concludes, unfortunately, with one forgettable tune, Hollow Stone. Indeed, it's a ''hollow'' song; it's 8 minutes long and yet there's barely anything that the musicians do other than playing the same thing over and over again, the only exception being when the solos arise. If it were only 4 minutes, I wouldn't consider it repetetive and boring.

As a conclusion to my review, I'll just add that this is something that all fans of the classic 70's Prog should check this out since the music, while placed in the Canterbury sub-genre here, it has a lot to do with the classic 70's Prog music, yet it's totally unique played by one-of-a-kind musicians thus making an essential masterpiece.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |


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