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Nektar - Recycled CD (album) cover

RECYCLED

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 231 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars High concept to save the planet.

"Recycled" may be the most progressive album for Nektar, who were one of the most creative musical forces of the 70s. This album is a dynamic followup to the quintessential "Remember the Future" and "A Tab in the Ocean".

'Recycle' is a progressive catchy melody with many time changes and brilliant musicianship to kick this classic album off. It ends with a narrative talking about sustainable living and recycling, before it was in vogue to do so. 'Cybernetic Consumption' blends into 'Recycle Countdown' instrumental merging into 'Automation Horrorscope' with a strong melody and vocals of Roye Albrighton also excellent on guitars. He is joined by Allan "Taff" Freeman on keyboards, Derek "Mo" Moore on bass, and Ron Howden on drums. The music is a suite similar to the music on previous releases. 'Recycling' is part of the suite and then 'Flight to Reality' and 'Unendless Imaginations' finishes side one of the original vinyl.

The music is organic flowing perfectly from one section to the next. The guitar work ranges from lead soloing to slide guitar sweeps. There are harmonies in the vocals that lift up the atmospheres; speaking of the planet in turmoil "forcing natures slow decay" and the answer is "recycled energy becomes the only forms of life", but there is "not much time before we go down, down, down, down, down." It rises to a crescendo and a spacey synth and effects ending with a gong splash and a sprinkling of crystal chimes. Larry Fast was a pioneer of Moog synthesizer and his work here is analogue at its best. The English Chorale conducted by Robert Howes is also a strong augmentation to the powerful soundscape.

Side two starts with 'Sao Paulo Sunrise' where side one left off with high pitched chimes and an aeroplane drone. At last a song begins as a rhythm strikes up with psych guitar and vocal harmonies. The time sig changes dramatically leading to 'Costa del Sol' with rhythmic Latin flavours and some powerful arrangements of keys and sparkling effects taking the music into 'Marvellous Moses'. The melody is infectious and Albrighton's guitar soars wth fast lead work. The vocals are always a drawcard of the sound and this is a memorable song; "I've never met a man like Moses with so much time". The rhythm is a straight 4/4 for a time with pop nuances but it soon changes into an odd meter, with grandiose Moog synth chords and an instrumental break dominated by keys. The synth swooshes lend a spacey texture and a new sig locks in.

'It's All Over' ends the album on a high note as it is certainly one of the highlights, a song that grows on you. The track is heard many times in a live performance. It begins with a beautiful 12 string acoustic, and then balladeering vocals begin; with phrases such as "your world is so upside down, take the high road and you'll take the low one, I'm torn apart from your many changes, it's all over now." The Moog keys are layered and follow the simple melody with well executed bassline and percussion. It ends with dramatic piano and guitar picking; a melancholy atmosphere as our helpless planet awaits its fate.

Overall Nektar's "Recycled" is yet another blockbuster album for the band. It has a timely concept and a message to grasp I one wants to; Part One critiques the power of destruction at the hand of greedy man as he destroys the environment that he is meant to cherish and protect; Part Two tells of a better future, a sustainable lifestyle and it is an optimistic line of thinking as though it were already happening, which it isn't. Therefore the album conceptually may be a warning to protect the planet before there is no planet to protect. It meant a lot to Nektar, and the 70s generation, and it is perhaps a message that resonates more these days with the issues of global warning and campaigns to keep the planet green. It was to be the last definitive prog album for Nektar before they became distanced from the adventurous music only to embrace a more commercial sound.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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