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Kayak - Royal Bed Bouncer CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.77 | 105 ratings

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2 stars Kayaks tend to skim the surface of the water, allowing them to eclipse the speed of other human powered watercraft. The downside is that they can be less stable and more prone to flipping out. Such qualities, though admirable or acceptable in a river or sea kayak, result in music as limp as any remotely linked to the progressive movement on "Royal Bed Bouncer".

Indeed this is all surface except when it plunges, and so fast on the abysmal title cut that I kept thinking my iTunes had naughtily downloaded Alvin and the chipmunks and that I should start shutting it down at night for punishment. But there are no less than 3 other nadirs here, tunes like "Chance of a Lifetime", "If This is Your Welcome" and "Said No Word" with all the warmth and phonetic charm of the most soulless combination of 10CC, DAN FOGELBERG, and GENTLE GIANT imaginable. Some 20 second passages make me feel I have unfairly judged these guys, but then the lyrical and production cliches, slap me around and I huddle in a corner waiting for a reprieve.

"Bury the World" and "Moments of Joy" are among the only tracks that actually sound like a semi-serious professional band pretty much all the way through, even if the latter's piano is overwhelming in typical Kayak fashion. "Patricia Anglaia" is a tasteful instrumental which shows that all you need to do is distract the boys for 2 minutes with some downers and you can actually get results.

It's hard to find people to speak badly of KAYAK these days, presumably because those who heard them in their early days are still dumbstruck. Luckily I came to them late in the game and am careful never to look directly at them and, like the title track's protagonist, face "occupational mortality".

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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