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Kayak - See See the Sun CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.79 | 184 ratings

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4 stars Kayak is a band that is mostly known for their somewhat broadway musical sound, their verse-chorus based song structures and their - for a lack of a better term - pop leanings. That's not exactly the case with their debut "See see the sun" album, although the core sound of the band is already there.

For a debut album one must say that it already posesses a really mature sound and the compositional skills and musicianship of the members are of a very high caliber. The dominant presence is of course that of piano and keyboard man and main songwriter Ton Scherpenzeel, but the rest of the band members are there, and gain their fair share of the listener's attention. Especially guitarist Johan Slager, without being overly flashy or self indulgent, serves the compositions really well and has his fine moments, like on the instrumental part of "Mouldy Wood". Also worth mentioning is drummer Pim Koopman. Although there are no really tricky or innovative drum parts, his playing is solid but varied enough to keep things interesting, let alone that he is also an important music contributor having credits on 7 out of 9 tracks on the album, with "Lovely Luna" credited only to him. Interestingly enough, this track has minimum percussion presence.

A very interesting aspect of the album is the overall build up of the vocals' sections. Main vocalist Max Werlerofzoiets (kudos for one of the most unpronouncable names ever!) is nothing funcy, (the band would have better vocalists in the future), but gets the job done. The most obvious influence would be Jon Anderson with some Peter Gabriel thrown in the mix. The opening track "Reason for it All" or "Mammoth" being a fine example of the former case, while "Ballet of the Cripple" shows the Gabrielesque side of things. That being said, I would have to point out that the most interesting thing about vocals is that they are generally a result of team work, with 6 people in total credited with vocal duties. There are some interesting well thought-out vocal parts throughout the album, although again this is an aspect of their music that would evolve and improve on later releases.

All in all, this is probably Kayak's album that is the closest to symphonic prog they ever got. The influences by Yes, Genesis or Moody Blues are generally smoothly incorporated to the band's fairly original character. (with the exception of "Reason for it All" which is a bit too Yes-y). During the late 70s they would develop a sound more of their own, but this (maybe along with following year's "Kayak" album) is their proggiest moment. A strong, solid, 3 1/2, close to full 4 stars, release.

istef | 4/5 |


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