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RECYCLED

Nektar

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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5 stars Lets not be politically correct here.Nektar was above and beyond anything else a drug oriented band.Just like Hawkwind or early Pink Floyd this stuff is designed for being stoned and boy was Nektar good at it and what makes Recycled even better is better recording than earlyer albums and Larry Fast on keyboards.This has to be the first in anyones Nektar collection.A prog and rock masterpiece and to think here in the northwest we found out about these guys only when they're albums started showing up in the cutout bins in the record stores in the late 70's next to the Uriah Heep and Thin Lizzy albums.Seattle has never been the best prog town but it is a good rock town.

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Send comments to James Hill (BETA) | Report this review (#19110)
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2003 | Review Permalink
milkman3us@ho
5 stars I've been a Nektar fan from the first time I heard "A Tab In The Ocean" in 1973. I'm 57 years old now and their music is as timeless as I am.When "Recycled" came out all of my other albums became second class.To me, it's one of the best albums that has ever been made from that era (early 70's).I still listen to the cd I have now and the music is as great today as it was then.Give it a listen,I think you'll not be disappointed.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#19099)
Posted Thursday, January 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Founding Moderator
4 stars Although Remember the Future set an almost impossible to beat standard for Nektar, Recycled is every bit as good a concept album, with an added "maturity." The writing, arrangements and atmospheres on Recycled are handled beautifully, and are truly "appropriate," rather than simply being "thrown in." Recycled Part 2 (Sao Paulo Sunrise, Costa del Sol, Marvellous Moses, It's All Over) is among the best "sides" in prog-rock.

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#19100)
Posted Tuesday, January 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
corbet
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is one of those rare magical albums which feels like its own planet out in space somewhere, inhabited by little sounds and creatures that you become familiar with over time and pay repeated visits to. Great keyboards, great vocals (even a choir, masterfully done), and one of the most grand and epic atmospheres possible to experience on record. I think Larry Fast's synth contributions make for a large part of this, which is why, for me, this is the Nektar album that stands apart from the rest and breaks through into the realm of classics. Flowing concept-style albums don't get much better than this.

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#19101)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Without a question NEKTAR's "Recycled" is an album you simply must have in your collection. In traditional NEKTAR fashion, "Recycled" while capturing all their NEKTAR'isms also expands into a space-like dream sequence throughout the album. Essentially "Recycled" is 2 album long songs each one containing some of NEKTAR's most memorable musical moments of all time. Overall "Recycled" is a highly intense piece of work with great care in song writing and theme building. Larry Fast performs synth work throughout: "Recycled" with tremendous results.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#19102)
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fabulous album, enough to satisfy the most demanding prog-rock fan, and very likely to leave him/her breathless, gaping - "what a masterpiece...". I really do not understand why Nektar is considered "Space/Psychedelic" - that makes no sense at all. Their best albums, such as this one, "A Tab In The Ocean" and "Remember The Future" are really symphonic progressive in the true sense. There is nothing spacy or psychedelic about them at all. "Recycled" has moments of great symphonic intensity, just listen to the choir! It's one of the most grandiose choral arrangements that can be heard on a rock album. The construction of the album is symphonic as well, with a sense of unity and direction, and the songs flow seamlessy from end to finish. The arrangements are lushly orchestrated with a variety of keyboards, but despite that, the layered guitars remain an integral part of the sound, sometimes quite heavy, but never overpowering. Brilliant arragement work. The vocal work is of equal high quality. The same can be said of the compositions, very sophisticated and refined, they convey the impression of being carefully thought out. This is almost too good to be rock, but it rocks! There are some attempts at pop in "Marvellous Moses", but it still is light years ahead of anything that Elton John or the Who are capable of.

I'll finish with the cliche - "this album is essential in any serious progressive rock collection". The same applies to the other Nektar albums I have mentioned.

And oh, yes - can someone pleeease get Nektar out of "Space/Psychedelic?" Leave that to Pink Floyd and The Doors?

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Send comments to EMinkovitch (BETA) | Report this review (#19103)
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
r.constant@uo
4 stars Impressive album, also the cover, and among my favourite ones. The first track includes great guitar riffs, time changes, beautifull vocals, ending with an amazing choir. The second side is more dancing getting better in marvelous moses and the unforgetable balad its all over.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#19104)
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was the first I contacted to Nektar by a former friend of mine in 1976 or so and I was amazed and still I am! A few days ago I got the remastered version by Dream Nebula Records and I'm amazed like the first time I ever heard this LP (!). The sound is even better than the first Bellaphon release and the bonus tracks (same tracks but the mix was done by Geoff Emmerick, known by his work within The Beatles) takes you to another view all of this songs. If you're just a little in prog, this CD is a must have!!! But take care to get the remastered version, nearly without noise and off course, within lyrics!

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Send comments to Abominog (BETA) | Report this review (#19105)
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars RECYCLED, released in 1975, is the last of Nektar's five-star works, and their crowning achievement. (Prior releases REMEMBER THE FUTURE and DOWN TO EARTH are also indispensable for the band's fans.) If you were to buy only one Nektar disc, this is the one that I would urge you to select.

RECYCLED, in classic progressive rock fashion, is a concept album with two suites of thematically-linked songs that segue, one into the next, to form a seamless whole. The first suite, "Recycled Part One," deals -- almost presciently -- with a future in which "recycled energy becomes the only form of life as it was," while "new forms are molded from patterns already used in a struggle to survive." (Thanks to man's ongoing devastation of natural habitats, we now forever lose a different animal species each day. Genetic engineering, anyone?) The lyrics are rightly disquieting, and are more timely and relevant now than ever. For example, though penned several years before the emergence of AIDS, and its horrific decimation of sub-Saharan Africa, a line in "Flight to Reality" could well represent the plight of poor countries like Uganda, whose populations desperately need, but cannot afford, the West's anti-HIV medication: "A nation's urgent need fulfills another's greed."

The second set, "Recycled Part Two" (the original vinyl's side 2), is less futuristic in scope, but no less urgent in theme. "Sao Paulo Sunrise" and "Costa Del Sol," with ironically danceable beat, tell of the despoiling of a tropical "paradise" by ever-increasing numbers of developers and tourists. Next, the lighter-hearted "Marvelous Moses" presents the tale of a modern-day miracle man and "tourist attraction," before the album comes to a moving close with the requiem-like "It's All Over." As the title would suggest, the song warns of the seemingly inevitable result of humanity's suicidal obsession with economic "growth," at the expense of the ecology that makes life on the planet worthwhile, and even possible.

The music accompanying this clarion call for greater environmental and humanitarian responsibility is harder-edged progressive rock, which expertly incorporates jazz, psychedelic, Latin, Caribbean and funk flavors. Guitarist Roye Albrighton's trademark catchy riffs and soaring slide work have never sounded better, and his vocals are delivered with impressive conviction and passion. Ron Howden's drumming is precisely as it should be, and bassist Mo Moore's thunderous Rickenbacker gives a solid foundation to the proceedings, while propelling them forward with tremendous impetus. Keyboardist Taff Freeman provides evocative synth "atmospherics," and displays a seasoned virtuosity on the piano, while guest musician Larry Fast of Synergy (who would go on to a fruitful collaboration with Peter Gabriel) supplies lush "orchestral moog arrangements" to further sweeten the prog pot. Top all this off with some moving choral sections and backdrops courtesy of The English Chorale, and you have a true progressive rock masterwork!

While all too many may elect to tune out RECYCLED's rather grim message, the music which sweetens this acrid but vital medicine is not to be overlooked! Mercy, mercy me -- an essential classic! Start "Recycling" today!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#19106)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
cwsii@sbcglob
5 stars Recycled was one of those albums where you'd drop the needle on side one, listen all the way through and jump up and flip over the platter to side 2 before the needle lifted off side one on it's own. No sitting around argueing who's turn it was to flip it over. "It's All Over" is one of the most gut wrenching, powerful ballads ever written. Someday I'll get this on CD (though I'd rather find an 8-track version). Performance & production on this recording is all-around excellent!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#19107)
Posted Friday, October 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Folks unfamiliar with the band Nektar think they are from Germany. What actually transpired was the quartet of Englishmen met in Germany in 1969 and formed the band. Ron Howden (drums, percussion), Derek "Mo" Moore (bass, vocals), Alan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards, vocals) and Roye Albrighton (guitar, lead vocals) would become huge in Germany and nearly broke big the in the U.S.

Eclectic Discs/Dream Nebula Recordings have reissued the four critically acclaimed albums that defined the band's career. "A Tab In The Ocean", "Journey To The Center Of The Eye", "Remember The Future" and "Recycled" are lovingly remastered with detailed liner notes for former fans and the newly indoctrinated to enjoy. Their well- known masterpiece "Remember The Future" was appropriately chosen for the SACD format as well as "Journey To The Center Of The Eye".

Their sound was a progressive-psychedelic mixture of rock that was far ahead of its time. For this listener this was a new wonderful listening experience. Prior to receiving these CDs, I had not heard any Nektar music besides a video of "Remember The Future" on a DVD compilation. I can understand now what all the talk has been about the band reforming and going on tour.

Roye Albrighton was the driving force of this band. His skilled guitar playing set the table for his fellow band mates. Each recording was outstanding and stands as a testament to their importance to the history of prog-rock music. What made this so interesting was how the label broke up each album into two parts respectively, the original recordings versus the newly remastered versions. You are now able to hear succinct differences between the two formats for the first time. Both versions are excellent and it was a treat to get the best of both worlds.

Any prog-rock listener will most certainly enjoy taking in this musical paradise in more than once, I listened to each CD four times myself and I know there will be many more spins of each CD down the road. I look forward to catching Nektar 2004 on the road this year to relive all of these great songs in a live setting. I never would have decided to see them in concert if it wasn't for this remastered series.

Rating: 5/5 overall

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#19109)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well I still remember the first time I saw the cover picture of this important album and the way I have been blown away for many years (along with Dice's "Four Riders of the Apocalypse", the present experimental album has not been outdone by any stunning concept,at least till the advent of bands such as Anglagaard and ECHOLYN...) !!In fact, apart from the splendid front cover with beautiful colours, the present long suite is an ever-green and I forget the uneven moments of the second half only;even though at the end the blend of space rock /progressive music, combined with a sort of progressive jazz, is exceptional.I have always been appreciating their experimental breaks-through within their development of this music "puzzle", during my first experience with this English band...well a "German" feel They have.Therefore,by considering the present remastered version as a real jewel still today, you can add their clever use of power chords at the guitar and a good taste at the piano as well (listen to track #2 for instance), in order to love this amazing debut album...of course the second half-as already explained to you above- is a bit uneven, but the final output is an unforgettable concept album, based upon 2 long songs and for me that's enough!!

Check this remastered version out!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#19111)
Posted Saturday, April 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Rounded up to the upper star!!

Nektar is a band I have been aware for some almost 30 years , but I only really discovered in the mid-90's when I decided that they would not stay on my want-list forever. Having waited so long might have been a fatal blow to my liking the band as much as some of its contemporary groups. I have never really managed to appreciate the band's sound and hold the band's merits to the level it deserves. And this is because in between the release of Nektar's albums and my listening to them some twenty years later, a lot of groups came in and out of my sight/ear range.

Nektar , at least in the classic albums always had a very specific sound that with retrospect now was years ahead of other bands. If you just follow my train of thoughts for a bit, you will see what I am getting at. First , the fairly heavy and very guitar-ey sound of the band and the clear forcefull voice of Albrighton must've been so recognizable (i would even call it Nektar's signature) that many bands came to be inspired by it.

And many of those bands were 80's hard-rock, heavy metal or hair metal stalwart of that decade copied this sound . And it is no wonder that I think of groups/songs like Europe's final Countdown or many others (Survivor's Eye Of The tiger and so on..) , since I heard all of that terrible 80's FM rock well before I heard Nektar. Not one second would I suggest that Nektar is to be linked to the bands/songs I mentioned above , but to those who investigate this album, you might get an idea how modern the sound was/is and one may be surprise at the release date of this album just upon listening to it.

What my reasoning of course has not mentioned yet , is that if the sound is a bit 80's- ish, the format of the tracks certainly is not. Two long tracks cut in different movements , full of good interplay between Albrighton and Taff Freeman , swirling around the ever-changing but solid rythms are stunning! Just a tad directionless IMHO , mostly because I listened to this some 20 years too late. Some of these tracks would've made huge hits in the following years (most notably Automation Horrorscope).

However impressive I find this album (and other classic Nektar albums) I cannot bring myself to fully appreciate (not for a lack of trying) this band and this might explain my first statement in this review.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#35972)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
3 stars Rating for Recycled was, before mine, 4,69! So here's the very first less favourable point of view - in fact I can't listen the whole album through without headache. I don't quite understand why this is considered as a prog masterpiece. It would be exactly albums like this one that might some day make me sick and tired of the whole genre.

The opening track takes your breath away and the rollercoaster ride begins. The problem, for me, is that the speed of the ride - the same motifs appearing again and again - doesn't come down until the lovely final song 'It's All Over'. After Remember The Future (which I started to enjoy immediately some weeks ago and have learned to like it even more) I'm very disappointed at the SOUND of Recycled. It's too loaded and too full of synths; only in the final song there's that honest guitar rock feel I really can enjoy at ease.

The edition I listened to includes the whole album twice, the second round being the original (unreleased) mix that didn't yet please the band. Well, I rather listen to it, because the music was full enough without adding choral and orchestral stuff. Too much on my plate. (Edit: But I have later come to a conclusion that this deserves three stars. I was really too harsh on it at first!)

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#37114)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I had never heard this band before, but I had heard a lot of people raving about them so I thought I would check out one of their albums. This one came highly recommended. Well, I have had this CD for over a week now and I have listended to it perhaps a dozen times and I absolutely cringe every time I hear the weak vocals, cheesy synths or Satriani guitar. What's Satriani guitar you ask? It's guitar high on technique but completely lacking in emotion. The sort of stuff that teenage boys have nocturnal emissions about or like to emulate at air guitar competitions. Thankfully there is not a lot of it on this record. I'm sorry Nektar fans but I just don't get this record? Apart from one song "It's All Over" the melodies are completely weak. Admittedly, "Marvellous Moses" is catchy and sticks in the brain, but oh how I wish I could get rid of it as it is such an annoying song! Anyway, the one redeeming factor is the final track "It's All Over." Absolutely gorgeous melody and I love the keyboard sound here, but to have to wade through the rest of this unmemorable drivel to get to one good song! There is a reason why bands such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis to name just a few are so revered today and why some bands will always remain second string. A quick listen to this will clarify why. I'm going to be generous and award this album two out of five stars. Fans of Arena Rock in the Starship mould will no doubt like this record, serious prog lovers should approach with caution.

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Send comments to Mr Class & Qual (BETA) | Report this review (#37740)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Recycled" is Nektar's second master opus. This album is the culmination of the symphonic exploration that had got started in the "Remember the Future" album and had been partially interrupted in "Down to Earth". In no small degree was synth player Larry Fast an important item for the band's achievement; even though he was just a guest, he was given plenty of room to create massive orchestrations, cosmic layers and complementing leads on his arsenal of Moogs, in this way, enhancing the melodic richness of the new repertoire's basic compositions. Most of the time it happens that Fast almost buries Allan Freeman's deliveries on organ and pianos (grand and Wurlitzer electric); also, given the fact that Roye Allbrighton is more focused on riffing and rhythm waving than on soloing, Fast ends up functioning as the band's major melodic asset at the end of the day. not being a real band member. Paradoxes aside, the most important fact is that this album manages to recreate the band's penchant for big conceptual narratives articulated in ambitious musical frames going far more places than "Remember the Future" or "A Tab in the Ocean", as well as recapture the sense of energy and taste for melodic richness that had been somewhat lost in the "Down to Earth" album. As I see it (or, more likely, hear it), Moore and Howden are the Nektar members who deliver the most impressive job all through the album: Moore's bass guitar sounds really loud and relevant, many times reinforcing the melodic stuff by creating effective counterpoints against guitar riffs and synth adornments, while Howden's drumming and percussive sources are more inventive than in any other previous Nektar album. Let's check over the repertoire now. The seven sections comprised in Part One fill a well organized symphonic amalgam, which recaptures and enhances the epic spirit of "Remember the Future": the aforementioned synth orchestrations by Larry Fast and the use of choral arrangements near the end help to build a consistent musical journey from the initial tympani-driven storm signals right to the climax and the synthetic coda. What is left then for Part 2? Part Two mostly retakes the jazz-pop leanings that had first appeared in "Down to Earth", albeit with added colours of Latin jazz and funky: that's what happens during the sequence of the first 3 songs. The notable presence of synth stuff helps to build a persistent connection with the Part One material, although the musical ideas are clearly oriented toward a more optimistic attitude. Part One was focused on a criticism of the power of destruction that man inflicts on the environment he's supposed to cherish and protect; now, Part Two conjures images of a better future, as if the voice of hope was speaking its wishful thinking out loud. 'Costa del Sol' and 'Marvelous Moses' benefit from a harder use of guitar by Allbrighton and a more featured presence of organ and guitar in the keyboard department. But the gem of Part Two is the beautiful closing ballad 'It's All Over', whose melodic richness and emotional imagery may remind us of BJH or The Moody Blues at their most majestic. This song is typical romantic Nektar, and it serves as a realistic goodbye to a dream of happiness and harmony that is very unlikely to come true. Additionally, it is also Allbrighton's goodbye to the band, since this was his last album in the ranks of Nektar for a while (the same goes for visual associate Mick Brokett). Generally speaking, I like Part One better, but I also feel that the album works quite well as a whole: in short, "Recycled" is an excellent addition to any good prog collection.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#38028)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Environmentally friendly

Released in 1975, "Recycled" was light years ahead of its time in terms of the message it contained. Apparently inspired by all the throw away plastic cups, packaging etc. in the studio, the album conveys the "save the planet" message which even today is struggling to be heard.

The recordings were mainly undertaken in France but, as with a number of other British bands, (Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep for example), the band were not particularly happy there, and returned to the UK to complete the album. Beatles engineer Geoff Emrick originally mixed the album but the band were not entirely satisfied with the finished product. They therefore secured funding from their record label to commission the services of the English Chorale. The album was then remixed, and further overdubs added.

An interesting aspect of the album was the guest performance of Moog synthesiser pioneer Larry Fast, this being one of the first albums to feature "polyphonic" moog sounds.

The original Geoff Emrick mix can now be heard in full on the remastered version of the CD in the form of "bonus tracks". It is very much a matter of taste which version you prefer, both have their own appeal, and of course the actual music is identical.

Although there are eleven titles on the album, there are effectively two tracks, and even then the split was only down to the logistics demanded by having two sides to an LP. The tracks flow seamlessly together, with various themes recurring throughout. Part one nominally consists of seven short tracks, but when heard as a complete piece, it is a wonderful, fast moving suite. There are suggestions of Yes, in particular the guitar of Steve Howe, on "Automaton horrorscope", and of Genesis on "Recycling". I was also reminded at times of Beggars Opera's excellent first album at times. The final track of part one "Unendless imagination?" brought to mind Utopia's "Ra" album, the pace finally relenting for the first time towards the more ambient, twinkly end of the track.

Part two opens with a reprise of the mood music which closed part one before bursting into life again for " Săo Paulo sunrise", apparently an ironic title reflecting the obliteration of the sun's light in that polluted city. The track veers towards the country rock of Crosby Stills and Nash, the following "Costa del Sol" having echoes of Home's magnificent "The alchemist".

"Recycled" has many of the ingredients which make for a great prog album. On first listening, it is thoroughly enjoyable with toe tapping melodies, strong hooks, and excellent production. This perhaps is where it is the album is slightly flawed, it is rather commercial. The instant accessibility of the music belies an underlying lack of depth which means after repeated playing, the album loses rather than gains appeal.

In summary, a thoroughly enjoyable album, even if it is in prog terms is a bit of a Bimbo.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#47027)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best concept albums ever recorded. They took chances by switching the feel from Prog/Symphonic to jazz to almost a pop sound. This is an album that must be listened to a few times to grasp what they were trying to convey. Not to be long winded, this album is a must for any fan of Prog Rock. Don't forget the rest of their catalog, you will find magic in all of their releases !!!!!!!!!!!

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Send comments to titfortat03 (BETA) | Report this review (#70206)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album was ahead of its time in ways that are both good and bad. As a socially conscious concept album that touches on environmental issues and the pros and cons of an automated world, Recycled is conceptually strong. However the actual music on display has a strong commercial sheen, sounding at times like a series of fused AOR anthems, well before the genre existed. In fact, considering that it came out in 1975, that prog-disco portion that kicks off the beginning of part 2 is pretty cutting edge too!

Although there are individual sub titles, and distinct sections, the album plays as two reasonably seamless chunks ... Recycled Pt 1 is 17 mins and Recycled Part 2 19 mins (the latter half of the secon part is my favourite segment of the album). It is full of catchy rock music of a kind that I almost never countenance nowadays ... I'm thinking Survivor/REO Speedwagon/Foreigner ... but with a proggy slant. A lot of people have said that as an English group based in Germany, Nektar bears a Krautrock influence, but to these ears, the music has a distinctly polished American feel.

The clean sound may be a progression from the earlier blatantly psychedelic stylings of an album like Journey To The Centre Of The Eye) but I must say it doesn't totally convince me. And while the band (the staple quartet of Albrighton, Freeman, Moore and Howden augmented by synth player Larry Fast) is extremely tight and competent, the boys demonstrates a singular failure to excite. God knows I'm lambasted many a player in the past for being too flashy, but I dare say that Nektar's music is a little too restrained for my liking (I can scarcely think of a good solo).

I must emphasise that I'm no fan of Nektar's and I think I've heard enough to be certain that tne group will never assume a place in my affections. This is not a poor album by any means, but I'm also left wondering what the hell the fuss is all about. ... 53% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#71169)
Posted Sunday, March 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Having just seen them this past Friday in Morristown, Nj USA, this was the only album left to purchase from their classic period for sale in the lobby of the theatre. And it so happens to be my favorite by the band :-). Right from the get-go, its in your face, sonic and frightfully fast. The album is in two parts, and as all the other reviewers mention its about the ecology of planet Earth and our slow destruction of it. Music- wise, its the most symphonic of all their albums courtesy of synth wizard, Larry Fast. "Recycled Part 1" is as fast paced as symphonic prog gets. Mind-blowing and hectic, it gets your juices flowing and by the end with a chorus singing, and guitars crashing its exhausting, but satisfying. Side two, "Recycled Part 2" starts out slowly and builds itself into a more symphonic groove ending with an absolute beautiful choral, piano and light strumming guitar fadeout, (I crank it up because its just so tearjerkingly wonderful). Some people tend to pigeonhole this record as more AOR. I disagree. There's tempo changes aplenty. More groove-like, maybe, but its definately NOT AOR. It's aggressively symphonic without being bombastic. One of their best albums. And as a bonus, if you purchase the remastered version, you'll get the first mix of the album which is definately a different slant; no choral work, and less synths. Interesting but I enjoy the original recording. 4.5 stars!

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#71223)
Posted Monday, March 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although I already had Bellaphon cd edition (with crappy sound), i bought myself LP yesterday,so I can really enjoy this glorious album again.I don't consider this to be the best Nektar album("A tab in the ocean" takes the prize ),but it is probably next to best.What makes this album different from the rest of the Nektar flock is addition of Larry"the Synergy" Fast,a true keyboard wizzard,whose synths made band sound completely unique comparing it to previous works.Music is tight and complex,especially on side one,side two sound little bit more like conventional Nektar with ,up until that point,best vocal performance by Roye Albrighton.Unfortunately,after this album,Nektar carrer goes absolutely downhill,and I never understood why!?Anyhow,for people who never heard Nektar before, this is excellent starting point,probably most accessible early Nektar album.

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Send comments to ljubaspriest (BETA) | Report this review (#75906)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The best from them , no doubt. Why this band don't hit the big time like other bands i don't know and understand. The quality of music on this one is excellent. I think one of the best conceptual albums from the '70. For me a inventive one in every way, and a classic in prog genre. One of my fav from the "old school" in prog. Enjoy the smoothness of Nektar, worth it. 5 stars without hesitation. Among the best albums in music, and my favourite from them.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#78488)
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Nektar is a BRILLIANT and I mean brilliant English Progressive Rock band of the 70s, I absolutely adore their style and their music, but Recycled here is one of their best albums.

Recycled is a 11 song, 37 minute long strong album featuring short interludes and sections which remind me heavily of Gentle Giant and other great Prog artists, but this one has added ooomph which I must really say gives this album the mark of "A Masterpiece of Progressive Music". Especially the song, Marvellous Moses, a Nektar masterpiece and a real hit on this short album.

Not really much to say here, except this album is marvellous itself and highly recommended for any serious Progger.

Warning: To really enjoy this album I must recommend several listens and there you go, you have devoured one of the best German-like English Prog albums of the 70s, congratulations!

Flossy's rating: 92% or 4.4 stars

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Send comments to King of Loss (BETA) | Report this review (#82188)
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is 1975 and Nektar have once more moved their personal goalposts, subtly redefining and refining an amalgam of earlier styles. Recycled has the lightness of touch and overall quality of musicianship of Remember The Future but instead of extended disco-funk-poppiness is a return to more conventional Europeanised Prog song styles. A typical economy of arrangement is still prevalent as all passages progress quickly without ever being allowed to become stale.

This is the last of the 'classic' Nektar albums with Roye Albrighton at the helm, yet it is not his superb singing and guitar which immediately grabs the attention, for Recycled is awash with the sound of synthesizers, especially unmistakeable Moog moods provided by pioneer Larry Fast. But, though there are indeed guitar and synth leads, no instrument stands out from the crowd: the sound is one of a harmonious blend of all instruments working together as a team, including the inevitable piano and organ.

Needless to say though, it is indeed Roye Albrighton who again dominates proceedings. His mellifluous singing is now totally assured and matured, quite at ease with soaring ballads, or harmonising with The English Chorale or deliberately playing with some tricksy timing, without doubt one of Nektar's main assets. As of course is his guitar: while no longer as prominent as it once was, yet it oozes quality, his phrasing both authoritative and delicate without ever becoming overbearing or flashy.

The eleven tracks on the original album can be divided into two parts: the first part is the main concept piece - we might call it The Recycling Suite - which consists of tracks 1 - 7; the remaining four tracks constituting part 2 are stand-alone compositions which nevertheless have a thematic connection with the main concept. That concept is one that is ever more relevant today than it was 30 years ago: the effects of humankind on our environment "forcing natures' slow decay"; how "recycled energy becomes the only forms of life"; how we are "song-birds, recycling the same old tune .... till it is all used"; and how "there's not much time before we go down, down".

The 'Recycling Suite' itself is a true Prog 'epic' built upon two principal musical themes. The first is very 80s AOR, [a dead ringer for A Final Countdown], but remember this was 1975. This is Recycle/Recycle Countdown which sandwich a brilliant instrumental that sways between sound effects, fat synths and a rockist thrash. A second main theme encompasses the remainder of the suite [with intermissions of course] but is based on a somewhat underwhelming melody, though the finale - Unendless Imagination? - builds and builds to a stunning crescendo.

Sao Paulo Sunrise could probably be considered a prelude to Costa Del Sol, both returning to a predominantly upbeat disco funk style. Marvellous Moses is Prog at its best, with hypnotic rhythms, tempo changes and a seriously excellent instrumental centre section, but It's All Over is the jewel in the crown, a masterpiece of melodic Prog Rock balladry with a big drum sound, lush strings and, at last, acoustic guitars!

The gloomy message of Recycled is unremittingly bleak and full of negative imagery. Unlike Remember The Future, there is no room for hope this time despite some rousing and uplifting music. The two grand gestures - Unendless Imagination? and It's All Over - each reach towards heights of musical ecstasy yet emit a sombre tone from a delicious melancholy in Albrighton's voice. The album ends with the ominous words "it's all over"!

In 2004, Dream Nebula re-issued a remastered version of Recycled with bonus material: no less than the entire album as originally mixed by Air Studios engineer Geoff Emerick. This mix was rejected by the band who went on to add further overdubs, including the choir, ultimately producing the album as released to the public. The Geoff Emerick version is extremely interesting as it is cleaner and less cluttered, with better dynamics and less compressed bass, though some stereo placement is not to my taste. It is now by no means certain which is the better version.

At this stage in their life, Nektar had reached a plateau of inventive musicianship allied to thought provoking concepts and intelligent lyrics: the culmination of several years hard work with a stable line-up. While accruing a degree of commercial success, they never did break through into Prog's premier league despite relocating to the USA. Sadly, the end of the road wouldn't be far away. Recycled remains as the last of their 'great' albums, in my opinion not quite a classic as some might suggest, but certainly very good indeed and a worthy addition to any Prog collection.

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Send comments to Joolz (BETA) | Report this review (#83252)
Posted Sunday, July 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "...natural supplies once numerous...now lapse into eerie silence..."

And so Nektar entered their peak of maturiry with Recycled, possibly the concept epithome of all the industrial era, its problems and opportunities. The sound alternates in fact some cold and mechanics interludes and noises with warmer and summery tunes. This two tendencies are so evident in such tracks as "Cybernetic Conspumption" + "Automation Horroscope", absolutely pieces of art and "Sao Paulo Sunrise" + "Costa del Sol" (spanish for sun coast).

The band manages to builded up a convincing concept opus, well thought and played with "scientific" precision. The most evident difference with their other big success Remember the Future are the more elaborated instrumental parts and the sense of falling headlong from the beginning to the end, without even perceive the 37 minutes of running time.

As usual for the band, keyboards are omnipresent and varied but never in the front line. It's not certainly space rock a la Pink Floyd or Hawkwind. Nektar owe their formation and musical "mentality" to the german scene of the seventies. The band formed in Hambourg in 1969 and rapidly established themselves as a great live ttraction. I don't know very well the german scene of that period neither the so called "Krautrock" experience, despite some bands as Eloy and Amon Duul II, so I could not say and recognize their roots and influences.

Oh, I it cannot be forgotten that Nektar was also a major attraction in USA, since they sill haven't even toured that country.

The correct evaluation is near the five stars (4.5). Still nowadays I'm not able to understand if this album deserves a full five stars treatment or not...

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#93727)
Posted Sunday, October 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Recycled. What a prophet name for this album. It is pretending (as in Remember the future) some conceptual kind of recording, BUT....

It is more likely an easy listenable rock album with some kind of spacy atmosphere. Don't get me wrong. It's a rather good but average album and the beginning mini-suit has it's moments. But I think hard rockers might like this album more than prog fans.

It's worth maximally three stars without any doubt.

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Send comments to Hejkal (BETA) | Report this review (#98868)
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The first seven songs blend into each other without any breaks forming "Recycled Part 1". This first section features vocals that are not very good and way too many bad synths from guest keyboard player Larry Fast. The first part really is a recycling of the same stuff throughout. "Recycled Part 2" starts off with "Sao Paulo Sunrise" that sounds very dated, while "Costa Del Sol" has some good piano melodies.

The saving grace of this album for me is not only that it is short, but the last two songs "Marvelous Moses" with a good and catchy melody, and "It's All Over' with acoustic guitar and strings make this at least a good purchase for NEKTAR fans.

For my tastes this is simply a poor album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#101453)
Posted Sunday, December 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I still like their (admittedly immature and highly derivative) debut but starting from their second album they developed a more and more polished and pompous sound that appears (at least to my ears) rather mainstream than Prog. With "Recycled" they reached their pinnacle in this sense which obviously fits with many prog lover's taste. I'm probably not a very typical Prog fan (however one might define this) and I'd rather call this one a perfect alienating example for people not yet familiar with that genre. I totally agree to the (few) other reviewers who gave as well a low rating to this album. There are awful synth sounds, cheesy choirs, pomp unlimited and the long track is a repeat of the same stuff over and over again. Then there are these two awful tracks "Săo Paulo sunrise" and "Costa del Sol" sounding like disco music to my ears and "Marvellous Moses" isn't much better. The only nice track here is really the last one but this one can't save the whole disk. Conceptially this might be certainly a remarkable work and I really appreciate the idea of saving the environment but this type of music just can't approach me but obviously did to many others which is quite positive on the other hand. The band had been undoubtedly far ahead its time with this album which is usually very good but not in this case since it sounds rather 80's-alike than being released in 1975. I'm very sorry but I can't give more than 2 stars to this album and honestly would not recommend it to any newbie.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#102829)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars A RETURN TO FORM!!

After the disappointing REMEMBER THE FUTURE , NEKTAR comes back with a more proggish album than the last 2; Goodbye, soul, good riddance, funk. We are not going back either to their early space rock sound as RECYCLED is again on the hard side of prog with tight musicainship throughout the album, the guitar is 'heavy'', the rythm section powerfully rocking with ALLBRIGHTON singing- a lot. I guess he had a lot to say as this album is one of the first environmental -conscious recording to be published back then in 1975.

Some NEKTAR fans love this album, some don't! the reason is the presence of synth wizard LARRY FAST and some listeners cannot go through his ''cheesy'' sound. I am not one of those as it doesn't disturb me. There are 11 songs on this album, but it can be listen as one piece as there are no interruption between the tracks. This is not a dreamy album, it's full of energy, speedy vocal deliveries, scorching guitar riffs. The music doesn't take a break and keeps quite a similar tempo the whole album .I have to admit that i get tired listening to it after a while as there is a sense of sameness after a while.

The other problem with NEKTAR, i already have noticed in the past, is the weakness of the vocal melodies. You won't find gorgeous songs here except the first one and the last one .After a few songs, it sounds like 'deja vu'' or heard, should i say!

Thinking of NEKTAR as prog band, i am not sure they are. Of course, the first album JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EYE is a prog masterpiece as the suite A TAB IN THE OCEAN IS, but after that their music is kind of difficult to classify; ALLBRIGHTON loves his hard rock for sure; they even tried funk ; they jammed some blues rock as welL; I guess this is NEKTARl

The best tracks of the album are the first three that can be listened as one RECYCLE/CYBERNETIC CONSUMPTION.RECYCLE COUNTDOWN and the beautiful last track, the ballad IT'S ALL OVER that finally quiet things down at the end. I haven't mentionned yet the presence of a choir on many tracks; i let you judge on this one!!!

A good album, but not indispensable.

3 STARS

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#131842)
Posted Sunday, August 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars So far in their career, I only liked the first two albums from "Nektar". Some weak studio as well as live releases IMO. Mostly because they abandoned the great psyche / sapce rock music of their debut. At the end of the day, "Nektar" is categorized as such on PA, so ...

I wouldn't say that "Nektar" fully renew with their past, but "Recycled" sounds much better to my ears than anything between "Sounds Like This" and "Down To Earth". The ecological theme of the album is way before today's concern of how bad we have handled the planet, well thought "Nektar".

The first four songs are really good and are a mix of their adventourous psyche music combined to a more poppish sound. Most of the (short) songs are more-rock oriented until "Saő Paulo". It starts almost like in the good old days (space-rock, I mean) but will turn into an awful synthetic pop after two minutes. Really bad. This song would have been cut after 1'50". The funky / soul beat is back again. And it is brought over for "Costa Del Sol". But a little more jazzy.

I am aslo rather mixed about "Moses". Same beat for most of it. If only it could have been more int thestyle of the spacey finale.

It's a real shame that the album changed direction from "Saő Paulo" through "Moses". It could have been a better album. I will upgrade it to three stars thanks to "It's All Over" which is a good and emotional closing number.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#138665)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Water and air, the two essential fluids on which life depends, have become global garbage cans - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Nektar laments the excrutiatingly slow but inevitable anihilation of planet Earth by our own hand. This is stark subject matter that one might expect to find on a Hawkwind album, but Nektar delivers a take on this ominous topic in a less frightening manner than would be expected both musically and lyrically. It is a plea and a warning to the listener that as the species in charge it is up to mankind himself to mend the wounds he has inflicted upon mother nature through his bumbling disregard for her gifts. He must learn that her benevolence comes with many conditions unless he wishes to feel her wrath. To many critics this album was conceptually ahead of it`s time when it was released in 1975 during a period when planet Earth was enduring an energy crisis which should have served as some sort of fore-warning in itself. Whether or not it was ahead of it`s time, it certainly came along at the right time if one also remembers other potential fates which were beginning to greet us at the time. From that gaping hole in the skies of Antarctica to the demise of a number of wildlife species at the top of the ecological food chain including the bald eagle and in particular the osprey as result of widespread DDT spraying. The gradual destruction of last bastions of paradise such as the Galapogos Islands as result of being overun by tourism and the loss of vast areas of the rainforests were also becoming more serious concerns as well are touched on here as well.

An introductory fanfare initiated ceremoniously by a kettle drum roll with magnificent synth passages ( Courtesy of Synergy`s Larry Fast ) establishes a spacious aura which will pervade over most of the work and will keep the listener engaged as much as possible despite it`s rather gloomy messages. Predictably, the work moves conceptually through various themes which remind of us the decay of our planet through mankind`s usual bumbling mistakes. It contains an air of irony to it in that it is actually an overall pleasant listen despite it`s dark warnings. It`s as if Nektar is saying : here`s a nice record for you to listen to, but we`re still on a collision course with ecological armageddon and we`re constantly going to remind you of this throughout our nice record. At times, the music will briefly acquire a gloomy air with cynical march of the clowns-like passages which serve as musical metaphors and emphasis when refering to mankind`s blunders. Automation Horrorscope could have easily been a Hawkwind track from PXR 5 and we also get some guitar playing which could be likened to some Steve Howe Yes passages. But for the most part the work tries to remain optimistic and some lively carib-beat passages on Costa Del Sol are employed, albeit in a cynical manner, to contrast with the stark messages the band wants to drive home. The English Chorale ( arranged by Christian Kolonovits who also worked with Omega on the orchestrations for their 1975 Hall Of The Floaters In The Sky album ) is also employed in this way to rather beautiful effect on Unendless Imaginations. Some of the music enters into the realm of cheesytown from time to time with Marvelous Moses being perhaps the best example of this. It can get a little annoying save for some fine lines from Roye Albright`s guitar and Larry Fast`s synth texturizing which make it not entirely unbearable.

Unfortunately, the album suffers from musical inconsistence and can get a little unfocussed . But at the same time it contains enough variety to stay interesting and comes to a rather lovely meloncholic conclusion with the appropriately titled track, It`s All Over, which is a final appeal to mankind and the important decisions which lie ahead if all is to be well. By far not a Close To The Edge but as a concept album, definitely more in tune with reality conceptually covering an enduring theme which is perhaps even more relevant today than it perhaps was back in `75. Unfortunately it also tells us is that we haven`t covered much ground in 30 odd years since it`s release. I`ll add ˝ star to three as well as accolades to the band for well placed thoughtfulness.

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Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#160088)
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars I recently raised my rating for Remember The Future from three to four stars, and so I feel that I will have to do the same for Recycled. Just like Remember The Future, this is a slightly psychedelic piece of conceptual, quite hard rocking but melodic music. But unlike that album the instrumentation is much richer here. While the music on Remember The Future contained basically just the traditional instruments - electric guitar, bass, drums and organ - Recycled has, in addition, piano, lots of synthesisers and a choir! These additions put Nektar closer to Symphonic Prog than they were in the past.

The synthesisers are played by Larry Fast, a guest musician. And he is pretty fast too! But there is little room for long solos in the well structured and carefully arranged music, but more so than on Remember The Future. The bass sound is loud and strong throughout and this further puts the sound of Nektar closer to their Symphonic colleagues.

Just like on Remember The Future, some moments are soft and mellow, others are loud and hard rocking, yet others are almost funky or psychedelic. The lead vocals are stronger here and the added choir make up for whatever inadequacies the lead vocalist might have. The lyrics are quite interesting too. I will not tell you about the concept, try figure it out for yourself; I'm not too sure about it actually, apart from that is has something to do with environmentalism (an "ism" I am not very connected to at all, but I do not find the lyrics annoying).

The overall sound and production is better and clearer than on previous albums and all the instruments sound very good.

Recommended, and together with Remember The Future (I cannot quite decide which of these two is the better album) this is probably one of the very best albums of the whole Psychedelic/Space Rock sub-genre (not the best example of that genre though, since this is close to Symphonic Prog).

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#178338)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I ordered this album I new I it was going to be good, but it was way better than I expected it was a masterpiece. Currently it is my favorite album I own. I havn't heard anything I liked more then this except Camel's The Snow Goose and Moonmadness are really close to being my favorite, but they can't win against Nektar's Recyled. The album is like an adventure from beginning to end, and with some of the best instramental moments and a great vocal performace this album is a must have for prog fans everywhere, and is the perfect album to start out with if you what to get into Nektar.

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Send comments to GabrielGenesis (BETA) | Report this review (#238477)
Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Two of NEKTAR's most irritating attributes even in their best work were their tendency to jam and their penchant for hard rock, both of which are toned down on "Recycled", yet it registers an even further decline for the group.

They have joined the masses decrying the destruction of the planet, but with no significant insights and few captivating musical interpretations. The production is better as befits a 1975 release, and the first side, taken as a whole, is a reasonable concept piece with repeating themes and more dynamics than we have come to expect, especially in the vocal department. LARRY FAST has influenced the group to unleash a more variegated arsenal of keyboards to the mix, but at the same time imposed a synthetic sheen here as on most of his other work. While some of that may be intentional given the thematic objectives, I suspect most is just poor judgement.

If side 1 might warrant 3 stars, side 2 squeezes out already tired ideas by unlikely bedfellows by PABLO CRUISE and has all the trappings of a group that has finally reached a creative dead end. The songs are longer but rather formulaic.and bereft of melodic or lyrical inspiration. Recycled indeed.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#261126)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Heavier, faster, tighter, and more epic than anything Nektar had done before, but somehow it often feels as if that extra something is missing to put this into masterpiece territory.

Masterpiece checklist (admittedly based on my subjective interpretation): epic structure (check), cohesive and interesting album theme (check), interesting melody throughout (check), no obvious flaws (i.e., no hares who lost their spectacles; double--check!), good musicianship (check)...

...and, it's all there, but for some reason, the parts just don't add up. At least not to a masterpiece in my book.

But let's focus on the positives, because there are many to talk about. First off, some of Nektar's previous work was simply too slow, too unexciting in spots. Well, they certainly have addressed that here, and then some! Vocals are also much better, and the choir is a very nice touch. Also, little touches such as sound effects here and a tympani there also really boost the overall effect.

Side 1 is an upbeat rocker, brimming with energy. I could use some wailing guitar solos--which I know Albrighton could easily provide--but that has never been Nektar's style anyway. I think it's a solid, yet imperfect, epic, probably in my top 100 of all time.

Side 2 changes things up, but provides a nice change of pace. Instead of hard-driving, this is more danceable--prog disco, if you will--but quite catchy.. Nice transitions to tie the songs together, and all finished by a lovely (though a bit depressing, lyrics-wise) finale.

Overall, a solid album from Nektar--in fact, for what little it's worth--my favorite from them. It may not get me to recycle more, but it will remain in my regular playlist!

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#282948)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fantastic way to end a strong 6-album run, Recycled may be Nektar's finest album (I'm a huge fan of Remember the Future, so my opinions are mightily torn). What we have here, folks, is a ride - often breathless, fast-paced, dizzying and delirius. The overlapping synth work adds a completely new dimension of texture to the band's trademark sound (although the original mix is certainly worth a few dozen listens as well), and finally cements them, stylistically, in a time and a place. Let me explain: by far the most common critique I hear leveled against Nektar is their perennial 'two years behind the times' sound, which is hardly deniable. On Recycled, they finally catch up with the times (though 'surpassing the times' might be a more accurate appraisal). This album genuinely sounds like nothing else. Another reviewer aptly described it as an alien landscape flooded with strange creatures and lights; there is a definite sense of affection for the work that grows with repeated listenings. Couple this quixotic endearment with the album's then-groundbreaking environmental theme, and a masterpiece is born. This is absolutely essential progressive music. Seek it, listen to it, treasure it.

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Send comments to Lozlan (BETA) | Report this review (#290311)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars I've been listening to this album with continuing amazement. Not just because it's the Spinal Tab of prog, but because it only garnered one 1 star so far. Folks are too friendly here.

Much of my discontent has to do with how this sounds, a sound that I would describe as David Bowie doing an AOR meets funky space-opera that is produced by Phil Spector in a particularly bombastic mood. Another reviewer compared this to the BeeGees in a serious identity crises. Well that's certainly a way to put it.

Tons of synths have to provide a spacey sauce on top of this funky-musical material, but it can't hide the fact that this isn't much different from Meatloaf's Paradise by The Dashboard Light, my number one of most-hated rock songs ever. Now, since about half of the earth's population would disagree with me on that particular point, it's still quite probable you would like this album.

I usually can always think of someone to recommend an album to. In case of Recycled I really wouldn't know. Beegees fans maybe? Or else I should pass this one on to a punk magazine so that they can relish at tearing apart another 70s album. And this time not without reason. If you don't take this album too seriously then it can be fun. It often gave me a good laugh actually. But I'm afraid the band was very serious about this.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#300208)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Band,well-known as best ever English Krautrock team, on this album plays very different music, and there are just a small Kraut traces,if at all.

Their albums from early 70-s were all good,some almost excellent. After few years and some changes in line-up, "Recycled" doesn't sound as they were ever related with Krautrock at all.

OK, some synth/electronic effects don't mean nothing. This music is more British art-rock from the second half of 70-s. In moments even AOR elements could be found in albums compositions, but mostly this album sound as bad clone of Supertramp. With some breaks in composition structures, some trips to what few years ago was psychedelic, but on this album sound dated and artificial both. Plenty of melodic moments, even choral, soft-rock polish,etc.

To be honest, musicians are all professional, and there still some nice moments could be found. But in all this album is real disappointment, release for collectors and band's fans mostly.

My rating is 2+.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#353422)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Nektar's Recycled presents an absolutely electrifying first side joined at the hip with an extremely pedestrian second side. The first half of the album (from Recycle to Unendless Imagination?) is a demented thrill-ride through a nightmare future of "recycled energy" and runaway entropy, which I could listen to over and over again; the second side is a set of rather pedestrian songs about tourism which lack the dynamism, energy, aggression, or breakneck pace of the first side, and so rather squander the album's momentum. Three stars, but note that it's a five star side A bolted to a two star side B.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#545100)
Posted Friday, October 07, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Almost 'Ultravox-like' during the intro replete with wavy keyboards - then all of a sudden 'Supertramp' appear, kicking New Wave butts into touch. 'Ultravox' re-emerge with a vengeance using only synthesisers and wipe the floor clean with the still warm blood of 'Supertramp' forming pools on the floor.

Phew! what an opening... 'Recycled' is a strange one. Cod American accents that really annoy are lost in the gargantuan "BIG" sound that is created by Nektar on this very important and bombastic sounding album.

'Recycled' is loud, very proggy and is bursting at the seems with a full on sound that is quite unmatched for its time. There's no way this was recorded on 4 or 8 track that's for sure. It's easy to see why this recording polarises so many reviewers opinions. It's so damn loud, cocky and sure of itself, sounding a bit like 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in parts. There's also some dodgy disco goings on in 'Sao Paulo Sunrise' which will leave you scratching your head in bewilderment.

A really busy album which is far too full of ideas to make a coherent album. Personally I love this schizo chopping and changing from one style to another... and believe me, there's a hefty amount of that going on here.

'Nektar are not a band I'm particularly fond of but this one sounds really interesting to my ears due to the incessant information overload.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#621421)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#622374)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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