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Amon Düül II - Hijack  CD (album) cover

HIJACK

Amon Düül II

Krautrock


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The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This was a rather abrupt shift in direction for the band, it would seem. Gone are the many colorful, psychedelic washes of brilliance and in their place is a more commercial, streamlined sound that still has some fragments of their previous brilliance.

"I Can't Wait Pt I & II" opens things on a promising note with its bizarre and funny lyrics and insistent cellos. "Mirror" however lapses into some rather pedestrian rock with a few horns, nothing very remarkable as could be said for the remainder of the disc, despite the fact it tried to cover a lot of musical styles. "Da Guadeloop" could be called the obligatory/gratuitous disco track (it was 1975 after all). "Explode Like A Star" threatens to light a fire (again, some really funny/bizarre lyrics like "Is it the "J" in their names that gets them killed?/Like Janice or J Jones or just another public relations thrill?"). It's not until the album's closing track "Archy The Robot" with its insistent marching band pulse and over- the-top brass arrangement at the end that the brilliance of the previous ADII albums seems to peek out again.

Not a bad disc but hardly a good place to start with this band.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#27841)
Posted Thursday, August 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At first listen this album sounded weird to my personal taste. It's probably that the music is composed in a single structure format so it sounds repetitive. It's like creating a highway as a main structure and lay all instrument solos in alternate way using the same highway structure. A good example is what the band offers with track like "Da Guadeloop" (7:03) where the main structure (the rhythm section) is a repetitive drum and bass guitar work that is played over and over. The only variation is with the solos that are put on top of this main structure: string arrangements with eastern nuance, guitars, etc. It applies the same with "Lonely Woman" (4:44) where it has one structure (repetitive bass guitar work) plus female vocals and saxophone work. It's too straightforward and so boring to my personal taste. This album is probably worth for fans / collectors only. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#42530)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The band's first misfire in the studio. It's the classic lineup of Karrer/Knaup/Weinzierl/Rogner/Meid/Leopold, yet the band had gone rather void-of-course by this point. The band add strings and brass to their sound, but to little effect (the cellos on "I Can't Wait Pt.1" do make it more interesting than it might otherwise be, though). Mostly bland mainstream rock, folk rock, and even more cabaret stylings (the execrable "Lonely Woman"), plus the ludicrous "conspiracy theory rock" of "Explode Like A Star". Instead of sounding like revolutionaries as on earlier albums, they sound utterly tame, as on the cuddly sci-fi anthem "Archy The Robot".

Still, it's not a total wash. "I Can't Wait Pt.2" has some of Falk Rogner's most compelling synth work. "You're Not Alone", while seriously mainstream, is suitably moody, with lush phasing effects. And the instrumental "Da Guadeloop" offers a smidgen of the old experimentation. Curiously, it sounds mostly like Can.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#44655)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Amon Duül II is a group (cataloged Kraut) rather curious. The style is varied enough, but centred on one elaborated rock. It does not take itself seriously. The band is rather nice. I always like so much the magnificent voice of Renate (where are the women in music Prog???). I prefer sharply the side A (of the vynil) with the very beautiful piece: I can' t wait leaves 1 + 2". One of the interests of the album is to be rather original. An album in the lineage of "Vive la Trance ", but sharply lower than magnificent " Wolf City".

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Send comments to miedj (BETA) | Report this review (#45325)
Posted Saturday, September 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
dog3000@chart
2 stars Not as bad as it's reputation among Duul fans might lead you to believe, but it's not nearly as good as any of their previous albums or the followup "Made In Germany" either. Worth picking up for krautrock completists only.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#50640)
Posted Friday, October 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars For this album, the core members of Amon Duul II were still present, but intrusions from a plethora of 'outsiders' has seemed to have dragged some of the music down the pathway of mediocrity by incorporating un-necessary sonic colour, such as pompous string arrangements to certain tracks, which sometimes enhances, sometimes doesn't.. Bassist Lothar Meid is great on his instrument, although I'm not a big fan of his voice (or is it just the 'mix' of his voice - it's always loud). He dominates side 1 of the record, not that the songs are particularly bad, just a bit bland. 'I Can't Wait - 1 & 2' starts off a little uncertain and unsure of where to go but the 2nd part features some spacey synths and a great Bass-line. Very 'hip' sounding. 'Mirror' is a song that just doesn't work - pure, standard rock-music, with some shrill 'chipmunk' backing vocals - not the sort of thing we expect from this great band. 'Traveller' bounces along in a 'cosmic-country'-ish sort of way, nice to hear Renate Knaup at the mic again, and includes some colourful clavinet playing. Meid's 'You're Not Alone' is majestic and grandiose, with tasteful Soprano Sax solos from Olaf Kubler, quite an accessible tune, too, but one can't help but think that the musicians here were capable of much more.

Side 2 shows off a more eclectic run of songs ; 'Explode Like a Star' is quirky, reminiscent of the previous studio album 'Vive Le Trance'. The 7min+ 'Da Guadeloop' is a sensational piece of music - a percussive show-case with interesting Bass playing, the string parts work well, the 2 guitar solos are exciting, and various sound effects are used in the right place. Possibly the best track on the album. 'Lonely Woman' is a smooth, sleek song, more French sounding than German, great rhythm - it's pure enjoyment. 'Liquid Whisper' is a dreamy, mellow tune, with Renate singing again. Final song, 'Archy The Robot' is somewhat directionless, and suffers from a goofy Brass arrangement - not the ideal way to finish off an album, it tends to leave an unsavoury taste in the mouth. Still, 'Hijack' is, for the most part, a pretty good listen, though not definitive Duul. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#155541)
Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Amon Duul II's Hijack is often dissed by reviewers due to its mish-mash of conflicting styles from track to track, and it's sometimes questionable vocals. It plays out like a compilation of singles from different time frames. From the Papa was a rolling stone funk of De Guadaloop to the Bowie-like You're not alone this album gradually grew on me and I learned to like it. I guess I fell for the babelfish-like German to English lyrics and the quirky but quite talented arrangements. I did not care though for Archie, the albums namesake, or his bogus cover art. I would not use this record as an example of the power of Amon Duul II though. Yeti gets my vote for that.

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Send comments to Valdez (BETA) | Report this review (#196691)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hijack is an album which is a bit different from the previous duul albums its not a bad thing just not so exciting maybe put this on when your on a hangover or something,it starts with i cant wait which goes into pt 2,which is a good start to the album which has lothar meid on the vocals and the bass guitar goes with the song well even though its easy to learn,next is mirror with john weinzierl on vocals which i quite like this song as the sax soundnice here kind of relaxing which goes for the whoile album,traveller has renate on the vocals and has flute in it which sounds good[which kind of reminds me canned heats going up the country i think it is] and renate sounds like she always does on this kind of high on this one though which is good,your not alone has lothar meid on vocals this song is another kind of relaxing track with flute and sax which sounds good this reminds me of a sleepy afternoon realaxing in front of the fire it just has that feel to me,explode like a star speeds things up with chris karrer on vocals which is a good track with karrer sounding a little kind of weird but not bad so its a good track and renate when she comes in makes the song better singing explode like a star,da gualelope starts jazzy which sonds good kind of it sounds like a track which could of been in the french connection etc but just the music though and the strings on this track sound good and after the start theres a bit where it sounds like someones on drugs[well it is amon duul 11] and the music with sax sounds good and the strings are just so 70s movie to me not a bad thing though,lonely woman comes in with chris karrer on vocals which is very jazzy especially the bass and karrer sounds jazzy too a good song but some might think its dull the sax middle part is a part i like which sounds easy to play [thats if youve got a sax that is],liquid whisper starts with keyboards which are easy to learn and the acoustic guitar sounds good to and renate sings good on this if you like renates voice you will like this song as she sounds like she likes this song to me,archy the robot has chris karrer on this which he sounds good and its not a bad song toand is a good end to an album which to me reminds me of a lazy afternoon with a hangover relaxing,give this ago as its not a bad album but there is better amon duul 11 albums try the others before this one first like yeti ,wolf city,vive la trance etc there best places to start first but this is a good album it just sounds a little like a lazy album but thats not a bad thing,i give it 3 stars.

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Send comments to davidsporle (BETA) | Report this review (#204461)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars With it`s Beatlesque string intro on the first track I Can`t Wait Part I, it is immediately evident to those familiar with previous work from the band that this is going to be a different Amon Duul II record. If the streamlining that occurred on the band`s 1972 Carnival In Babylon album caused a stir amongst fans then the cohesive song structures, vocal harmonies and orchestral arrangements on Amon Duul`s 7th studio album, Hijack, would prove to be even more mutinying and harder to swallow. By the time sessions began for Hijack, Amon Duul II had pretty much abandoned the free form cosmic experimental spaced out collage approach to their music and the album marked a period of a band in transition and introspection. Although not a concept album per se ( that would come on the subsequent Made In Germany album ) each track on the album has it`s own special individual message and musical identity making it one of the most diverse and interesting records in the band`s catologue.

Even so, there are echoes of Amon Duul II`s acid soaked past on tracks such as the psyched out Explode Like A Star presented in two sections with cool spacey synths and Renate Kanup`s female vocal interpolations. The instrumental Da Guadaloop with it`s tripped out primordial rythms predates disco with a psychedelic twist replete with elephant roars and female drill sergeant commands amongst other sonic novelties It is certainly the most bizarre track on the album which should satisfy the long haired freaky people who were into earlier albums like Yeti, Phallus Dei and Tanz Der Lemminge.

Apart from these two cosmic excursions Amon Duul had never sounded so commercial but at the same time retained some lyrical dark visions they were known for, especially on the introductory two parter Can`t Wait ( Parts I & II ) and the danceable Mirror which reflect on a bleak future and the guilty confessions of a TV addict respectively, emphasized by the lackadaisical vocals of bassist Lothar Meid who had returned to the band from 18 Karat to join the original lineup for the Hijack project. In fact most of the album was the brainchild of Meid`s who contributed the orchestral arrangements which featured 8 guest musicians. The album`s name even comes from Meid`s nickname which was Jack.

Other tracks offer chasms of contrast fluctuating from comical proportions to pensive atmospheres. Archy the Robot ( see album cover art ) is about a a mischievous toy robot with a mind of his own who travels through time and space and kidnaps Satan and God along the way accompanied by a cabaret-like brass section! The thoughtful You`re Not Alone whose simplistic droning guitar chords support Meid`s once again sombre yet passionate vocals about being at peace with oneself while Traveller and Liquid Whisper feature Renate Kanup singing fluid and lyrically vocals rather than her previous witchy vocalizations as heard on tracks like Archangel`s Thunderbird or Green Bubble Raincoated Man. One of the most unusual musical deviations for Amon Duul II up to the time is to be heard on a cover version of an Ornette Coleman composition, the dark lament Lonely Woman with a subtlle jazzy bossa nova beat whispered rather than sung by multi instrumentalist Chris Karrer underscored by a smoky tenor sax accompaniment.

It`s unfortunate that the acid drenched relentless freaking out heard on earlier Amon Duul 2 albums create false impressions, get more attention and overshadow most of the band`s recording career. Hijack is a testament to the songwriting and actual musical abilities of of the original lineup plus the crucial contributions of Lothar Meid. It`s a pity that it constantly comes under scrutiny so often for being too commercial. Some critics have even called it their worst album! In essence Hijack depicts a band finally coming of age and a fitting prelude to 1975`s Made In Germany concept opus magus. One of the best and diverse Amon Duul albums where the individual members demonstrate that they can adapt to just about any style. Not to be ignored by anyone who wants to explore the weird and wonderful world of Amon Duul II. 4½ stars no problem.

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Send comments to Vibrationbaby (BETA) | Report this review (#210667)
Posted Tuesday, April 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Just like the preceding album, Hi-Jack is an art-rock oriented Amon Düül II album that is most disappointing if you look for the psychedelic and creative qualities that were explored on their early albums. As a collection of "rock songs with a hook", this still works for a couple of listens.

The band had succumbed under commercial pressure and saw their own sound and personality buried under studio effects, string arrangements, gimmicks and session musicians. Just as on the preceding and ensuing albums, this is a diluted Amon Düül II doing art-pop, folk, tango and whatever else that sounded cool to do at the time. As said, some of these songs are not without merit and I certainly enjoy I can't Wait and Lonely Woman. But the bulk of the material is too faceless and mainstream.

Not a bad album as such, but held against their first three albums it is quite poor. Might appeal a bit more to dedicated fans of 70s art-rock such as Bowie, Cale and Eno.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#378737)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Amon Duul II: Hijack [1974]

Rating: 3/10

Hijack is the album that made me lose all hope in Amon Duul II; after this, I was no longer interested in exploring any more of the band's discography. This once-seminal krautrock group began exploring a more commercial sound on 1972's Carnival in Babylon, and things soon went south. Vive La Trance showed the band losing all remaining experimental credibility. On Hijack, they dig themselves even deeper. This is a tired and dull collection of short rock songs with absolutely no feeling or heart whatsoever. Almost all psychedelic influences have been eliminated in exchange for blues, R&B, and hard-rock. The end result is a horribly unenthusiastic record that just barely manages to avoid a full-on one-star rating.

"I Can't Wait, Part 1+ 2" is an R&B-style rock song with a generic bass-line and uninteresting vocals. "Mirror" sounds kind of like late-era Captain Beefheart, expect not nearly as good. "Traveller" features some horrible female vocals. The flute solo at the end is one of the few good moments on the album, however. "You're Not Alone" exhibits slow-paced drawn-out blues rock that leaves me with absolutely nothing. The pace picks up on "Explode Like a Star", but things remain totally uninteresting. "Da Guadeloop" is a disco song. That's right: a disco song. Fortunately, a solid guitar solo prevents this from being a complete disaster. "Lonely Woman" is a funky Latin-influenced track. Yet again, the musicianship is uninspired and the composition is weak. "Liquid Whisper" is an irritatingly lighthearted folk song. "Archy the Robot" closes the album. This feels like a novelty song, but it doesn't even work in that respect.

This album is an embarrassing low point, especially for the band that was responsible revolutionary albums like Yeti. There is absolutely nothing progressive, experimental, or creative about Hijack. The songs are generic and painfully boring. However, there are two reasons why I'm avoiding a one-star rating. First, none of these songs are bad; they are simply mediocre. Second, there are occasional enjoyable moments, such as the flute in "Traveller" and the guitar solo in "Da Guadeloop." Regardless, this is an album to avoid. I would stipulate that hardcore Amon Duul II fans are the only ones who need apply, but even they may not appreciate the unfortunate direction that the band had taken at this point.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#567850)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2011 | Review Permalink

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