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Kayak - See See The Sun CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.86 | 139 ratings

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4 stars Kayak - See see The Sun (1973)

Kayak is one of Holland's major prog acts. The line-up of the band had always been a bit strange. Conservatory drummer Max Werner did the vocals/mellotrons and conservatory key-player Pim Koopman played the drums. Luckily conservatory key-player Ton Scherpenzeel played on his own instrument. Cees van Leeuwen en Johan Slager played bass and guitar.

The band was centered around the friendship of Koopman and Scherpenzeel who both wrote songs and compositions for the band. Some might argue that some of the stronger Kayak songs were written by Scherpenzeel, but I disagree.

The band-members of Kayak never thought about playing progressive rock, but the compositions were innovative and sophisticated at times. There are many classical music influences and some influence of Genesis and Yes (mainly some vocal parts). Besides these influences Kayak had it's own sound with tremendous songwriting, combining catchyness and innovation. The sound of Kayak has a focus on keys and vocals, but the band sounds as a whole. Most of the songs have instrumental parts with an melodic approach. The vocals of Max Werner have been a point of debate. It is one of my favorite vocalists because of his high pitched sound and his specific sound. It's strength threw weakness.

Reason for it All has some obvious Yes elements, but the songs has an original atmosphere and a good instrumental solo's section. Lyrics is a feel-good crossover prog track with nice melodic piano composition. Mouldy Wood is very very progressive with it's dissonant guitar parts and Jaw's like couplet theme. The melodic theme in the middle and end section make the song totally worthwhile. Lovely Luna is a symphonic rock masterpiece written by Koopmans. The intro of the song is abstract, but as soon the symphonic parts begin I'm amazed by this beauty. The distorted bass guitar with a melodic function during this symphonic parts is very innovative. The pastoral vocals of Werner are strong.

On side two Hope For A Life is another crossover prog song with lot's of different melodies. . Ballet Of The Cripple is an emotional composition with superb lyrics! The bridge section is very atmospheric and the main instrumental theme nostalgic. Forever Is A Lonely Though is perhaps one of Kayak most beautiful songs. A brilliant melodic couplet/intro theme and an adventurous refrain with great mellotron sounds. Mammoth was a bit hit in Holland and has an intro theme played on street-organ and some catchy strong melodies in the couplet and refrain themes. See See The Sun is also one of my favorite Kayak tracks. The adventurous intro/refrain with it's multi-layered vocals are superb! The couplet theme with only piano and vocals is intimate and effective. Listen to this song!

Conclusion. Kayak had this great debut that combined progressive music with some hit-potential. Kayak has an own sound and a fresh approach on symphonic rock. This record is recommended to fans of melodic prog, symphonic prog and crossover prog. It's a great seventies record with memorable songwriting! Four stars.

friso | 4/5 |


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