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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.27 | 637 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Khan project heralded Steve Hillage's return to the music industry (after leaving Uriel to go to university, coming back only to cut the Arzachel album with his former bandmates for a lark). Lyrically speaking, the album is hilariously dated - right from the opening couplet ("I need you and you need me/Also I need to be free!") we can tell that, for all his other qualities, Steve Hillage was never much of a lyricist - he wouldn't get much better over the course of his post- Gong solo career. But then again, whilst the words are rubbish, the sheer earnestness with which Steve delivers them elevates them from mere dross into a sort of platonic form of New Age nonsense - and I'll take unintentionally hilarious over boring any day of the week.

Of course, prog fans by and large aren't here for the lyrics - they're all about the instrumental performance, and in that regard the album is pretty damn good. It's essentially a fairly middle- of-the-road Canterbury album made special by Steve's spacey guitar style, though the inclusion of Dave Stewart's always entertaining keyboard talents certainly doesn't hurt. Nonetheless, I wouldn't go so far as to call it an outright masterpiece - I feel that I have to look past the album's obscurity and the fact it's the band's sole recorded output to look at the quality of the music, and whilst it is good, the fact is that you can tell more than one album or so of this material would get tired-out quickly. Still, it gave him the extra exposure he needed to get the post in Gong, so the album is both important to the development of the psychedelic, spacey end of the Canterbury scene and Steve's career as a whole. If you're already a Hillage fan or a Canterbury fan, this comes heartily recommended, but otherwise both Hillage and Dave Stewart would appear in superior (and much more significant) albums across their careers, and you'd be well advise to explore those first.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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