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5 stars Finally came the new album "Seventeen" of the famous Dutch band Kayak! This is their 17th album too. The band was founded in Hilversum, the Netherlands in 1972, and dissolved in 1982, but reorganized in 1999 and is still active today. Initially their style was the most popular symphony of the time, but later became somewhat popular. After the revival of the 21st century, they devoted themselves to the creation of rock opera. They released three pieces, each featuring Merlin and Nostradamus And Cleopatra's story, in which Merlin that Zhang is the re-production of the old album, a medieval style. These albums have received a good rating. Their symphony melodies are very attractive, Moog and Mellotron are used frequently, and keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel also joined Camel (it was during the dissolution of Kayak, Kayak reconstituted that he quit Camel back to the old ), Explains why Kayak's style is a bit like Camel, beautiful, meticulous, melodic, and sometimes majestic, with late-rocking and pop flavors (which is what keeps pace with the times). Last year, the band released a box called "Journey Through Time," recording all of their studio albums and two addendums, leaving a space in the box. The band explained that this was their 17th album. This year, 1 On May 12, Kayak fans are finally able to fill this space with a new album. The new album has been four years since their last album. The band said on the official website: "Kortom: het bootje slaat welens om, maar weigert voorlopig te zinken." (In short: Kayak Meaning kayak, then the name of the band with the sex) will turn, but will not sink.) Now, they are back! Speaking back to the new college, the reason for this is also because Camel guitarist Latimer also guest guest, Camel last year announced on the official website of the band assembly and explore their future path, can not think of his new special did not come out, Latimer and old friends Scherpenzeel made Kayak's new music together, and Latimer was busy himself, helping with the band's bassist Colin Bass. I have not got the exacting creator of "Seventeen" for each song, but there are many guitar solos that have the charm of Latimer ("Falling", "Walk Through Fire", "Ripples on the Water" ... oh my god! Latimer has been involved in the creation of almost all songs!), Elegant and long, soothing, and sometimes straight to the heart, soul-stirring! The album is exactly 60 minutes, the basic structure of three songs about ten minutes, plus nine more than three minutes of short songs, so that both the avant-garde and popular potential. Although such a structure is similar to the rock opera they had previously done, the band said it was not a concept album. In addition to symphony and opera blend, the new album is also some folk features, the introduction of some folk music melodies, and melodious flute (Latimer should not be the style), more than three minutes of short songs are beautiful and beautiful, some very witty relaxed, Some are rock-and-roll and form a contrast with those magnificent and complex long songs. Scherpenzeel's keyboard is still hot and pleasant, he is also used for the synthesizer as pure fire, the piano played smooth as water. For the three long songs, they are all standard symphonic shaking structures, which have brought back the feeling of the 1970s. They mainly focus on the melodious guitar solo. The piano is laid out in the back and strings are added to enhance the momentum. In addition, I must mention that the voice of lead singer Schwertmann did not show the old state, but it sounds very comfortable. The first song "La Peregrina" as its name, which a synthesizer solo very "pilgrimage" atmosphere. The second "Walk Through Fire" opening is the Latimer iconic style, followed by the Northwestern European folk style melody to join the last hot guitar, string and synthesizer have hurricane, the perfect ending in the passionate chorus. The third song "Cracks" is more conventional, without the first two so prominent, which is the album's weakness, the first half is too exciting, the second half is relatively mediocre. However, flaw does not cover Yu, the old cannon this combination has brought everyone a classic! Proper four-star semi-critical, the top10 contender of the year!
Report this review (#1866457)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review # 80. Kayak is a Dutch band that was formed in the early 70's. The band was active from 1973 up to 1982, during which, they released 8 studio albums. In 1999, the band was reformed and they are active since then. Almost a month ago, they released their new studio album named as Seventeen; which, as you can understand, indicates that it is the band's seventeenth studio album. Personally speaking, if I had to choose between their 2 periods, I would choose the 2nd one, because their music has improved a lot during the last 17 years. Seventeen is the band's first studio album in their new company Inside Out; I don't know if that had any impact on their music or not, but for me, Seventeen is one of their best works ever! From the ones that I've heard at least. (I have 7 of their albums in my collection).

In Seventeen, the band seems to be in great form, balance and inspiration, which is proven by the quality of the songs. Speaking about the band, I think that I should mention the participation of Andy Latimer of Camel as a special guest, but unfortunately in only one song. The album includes 12 songs and has a total running time of almost an hour. The 2 over- ten-minutes-long songs that are included here can be characterized as the album's highlights. But if you ask me, the whole album is a highlight by itself. I have it for almost 2 weeks now and I keep listening to it on and on. It is a wonderful piece of work, and with every new listen I discover something more in it.

This is one of these albums that you listen from the beginning 'till the end, without feeling the need to press 'skip'. Every song has something to offer to the listener, from the simplest 3:00 minute long one, up to the far more complicated 'epics'.

But have in mind that, the album's general style can be characterized as Prog with Pop influences. Maybe the Hard-core Prog fans will not appreciate it that much. There are many short songs included here, soft and mellow, in the style of Supertramp let's say.

I am not going to mention the songs one by one; there is no need to do so. If you want my opinion, give this album a couple of listens, and decide by yourselves. For me, it is an excellent and very enjoyable album, and I'm perfectly happy with it! Although it is still very early, I'm pretty sure that, at the end of the year, it is going to be included in my annual top-10 album list for 2018. Album's highlights: Somebody, La Peregrina, Falling, Walk Through Fire, All that I Want, Love Sail Away, God on our Side, Cracks. My rating is 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#1871721)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2018 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Let me start by saying that I've never listened to Kayak prior to the release of this album. This is quite a shame since I've now gone back and explored some of their catalogue and found it to be quite impressive. So if you're in the same spot as me and love crossover prog bands like Supertramp, Barclay James Harvest, ELO, Procol Harum etc then don't hesitate and give Kayak a go.

My first encounter with Kayak occurred just a few months ago when I stumbled upon a video trailer for Seventeen on InsideOutMusicTV YouTube channel. I have heard of Kayak before but somehow assumed that they were similar to their countrymen Golden Earring and thus was nothing that would interest me. The music that I've heard in the trailer really sparked my interest due to the strong melodies, stellar keyboard work from Kayak veteran Ton Scherpenzeel and the interesting band lineup that featured Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain of Salvation, For All We Know) on bass and Collin Leijenaar (ex-Neal Morse) on drums/percussion. The album was due in early 2018 and I was quite interested in hearing more of the material. I went on Spotify and found three singles All that I Want, Feathers and Tar and the shorter version of La Peregrina. All that I Want was easily the least progressive of the bunch but featured strong verse and chorus that made it enjoyable for me. Feathers and Tar and La Peregrina completely stole the show for me. Both of the songs begin with very melodic guitar style of Marcel Singor and he is, together with Ton Scherpenzeel, the one that has the most time in the spotlight during the album's duration. Singor really made an impression on me and I'm interested in hearing more of his other work in the future.

There was just no way that I could let this album pass me by so I did the obvious and ordered the 2-CD edition of the album from Kayak's website. Once I got the album, I must have played it at least a dozen times without every getting tired of the material. Once the opening track Somebody starts playing there's just no way for me to stop the album from going all the way to the last track To An End. Beside the shorter songs and interludes like X Marks The Spot and Ripples On The Water (featuring Andy Latimer on guitar), there are three centerpieces in the form of La Peregrina, Walk Through Fire and Cracks . I'd say that La Peregrina is easily my favorite out of the three and I really enjoy it musically and contextually (story about the famous pearl La Peregrina throughout different eras with reflections on immortality of objects and the mortality of men who think that they can own the pearl). This 12 minute opus feels much shorter than its playtime might imply and I still haven't gotten tired of this composition and all of its twists and turns. Walk Through Fire is probably the composition that has grown on me the most over time. At first, I didn't think much about the lyrics and the melodies but it did sort of fall into place eventually and Walk Through Fire is definitely a great piece of music that most prog fans will enjoy. Cracks is the last of the three longer compositions on Seventeen and is definitely my least favorite. I feel that the structure of this composition is all over the place and it lacks the melodic punch that Ton Scherpenzeel is usually known for with his material.

Even though we're still in the beginning of the year, I'm very certain that Seventeen will be one of my top 10 favorite albums that I will take with me from 2018. Not only does the album deliver in its centerpieces but there are just so many great moments spread out all over this album that makes for a great overall experience!

***** star songs: Somebody (3:04) La Peregrina (11:42) Falling (3:08) Feathers And Tar (3:14) God On Our Side (3:30)

**** star songs: Walk Through Fire (10:23) Ripples On The Water (3:40) All that I Want (3:47) X Marks The Spot (1:58) Love, Sail Away (3:12) To An End (3:32)

*** star songs: Cracks (8:50)

Report this review (#1871852)
Posted Sunday, February 4, 2018 | Review Permalink

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