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3 stars A compilation album, many times (and I would say almost all times), doesn't show the greatest stuffs of a band, maybe 'cause the editors try to give to the listener the most accesible music or the well-known hits of the band. This KAYAK album isn't the exception. The 14 chosen tracks (excluding "Merlin") are short pop-prog songs, all them reflecting one of the band's trend, which isn't the best. Songs are nice, because KAYAK -even when they left the symphonic sound and went into more poppy rythms- conserved the inspiration to make very good melodies, a sort of "elaborated pop", but never reaching the brightness of their symphonic pieces. "Merlin" and "Anne" are the highlights here, but if some listener doesn't know the group, it isn't the best start to penetrate in the KAYAK discography. I would recommend the 2003 production "Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen", one of the best albums in the last year, including songs of the original "Merlin" album from 1981 plus new compositions, a truly symphonic effort.
Report this review (#4198)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Even if I haven't yet heard anything else by Kayak, I'm sure Marcelo's review is right about this compilation. It's really hits-oriented, accessible and pop (some songs prog-pop, not all even that), and that just CAN'T be the best picture about this Dutch band. I thought this would be a handy introduction to Kayak but I had to change my mind soon, noticing that the earlier 70's proggier material was practically missing. This concentrates on the late 70's and early 80's and sounds very eighties all the way. That disappointment aside, I judge this music for its own good, as pop.

In fact there's only two songs I clearly dislike. Most are quite nice, though some maybe too sweet to listen often. And I like the other -here unmentioned- vocalist whom I presume to be Edward Reekers, a voice that has sung music of Pink Floyd and Parsons (in Alex Bollard's cover albums) better than the originals, I think. Keyboard player and leading figure Ton Scherpenzeel's participation in Camel's Stationary Traveller was to me a recommendation to check Kayak in the first place, and it came as no surprise that the sound focuses very much on keyboards. 'Ruthless Queen' and 'Seagull' are very good ballads. CD's highlight is undoubtedly 'Merlin', the most progressive song. But why no earlier stuff, or even a full-length CD?

Report this review (#4201)
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't understand why this compilation is so lowly rated (must be because it's just 4 ratings). Because this is the best of and Kayak is not really a bad band I think. To me it's ok to have this "best of" because I'm not a real fan so I wouldn't want to buy all their albums although I do possess quite some vinyls of them. But that was in a time prog wasn't yet my totally explored area.

All the classics by this band are on it and so they should on a best of. My alltime favourite is Merlin, a song with a cracking guitar solo towards the end. Other brilliant tracks are Phantom of the night and Starlight dancer. Ruthless Queen is in fact the best known track for the general public in the Netherlands. It's a nice ballad but not my personal fav.

Other nice songs are Want you to be mine, Seagull and Irene. So enough enjoyment here. I give it 4 stars (3,75).

Report this review (#151810)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Actually, for KAYAK, I do not recommend you to purchase "the best" version because many great tracks that are not captured especially if it comprises one CD only like this compilation. I cannot argue that songs listed here are all good to excellent but there are still many other tracks like "Gaughter or Son", "Daphne", "Woe and Alas" (my true favorite track!), "Ninianne", "Where Do We Go From Here", "May" and many more that I cannot list here. But if you are really newbie with kayak, this is not a bad one to start. You should continue exploring with other albums.

"Starlight Dancer" is a great song with great composition combining catchy melody and string arrangements. "Want You To Be Mine" is a pure pop music but it's not typical pop. "Ruthless Queen" is a top hit that I believe you have known it through the years. "Merlin" is a symphonic prog music which has great melody and solid composition. "Seagull" is a melodic song. The rest are basically excellent tracks.

Overall, it's a good compilation that I recommend you to continue purchasing other albums of Kayak. It's worth collecting really.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#186964)
Posted Sunday, October 26, 2008 | Review Permalink

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