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Kayak - Close to the Fire CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.74 | 110 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is Kayak's '2000 reunion album and it had three of its original key-members; Ton Scherpenzeel (keyboards) and Pim Koopman (drums, keyboards) as song-writers and Max Werner as a lead-vocalist (who sung in their early '70 progressive period). Though the quirky vocals of Werner are strongly reminiscent of a quarter decade earlier, the rest of the band has moved on to a modern and rather smooth symphonic/crossover progressive rock sound. The band would actually revisited some of its most recognizable features (like the classical piano interludes by Scherpenzeel) on the next albums. Kayak is of course one of the most melodic groups and this collections of songs serves as a testament to that virtue. With the opening track 'Close to the Fire' the band launches an extended song with folk influences and some great chord progressions. The band then launches a series of strong melancholy ballads and crossover prog songs of which the magical 'Frozen Flame' is my favorite. Might even be among my favorite songs ever recorded. From the seventh track 'Crusader' on the band changes gear for a string of more progressive pop type songs (think of later day Marillion). On 'Full Circle' (a strong instrumental by Koopman) the band returns to the folk influenced theme in which the album started. The album ends with a re-recording of 'Ruthless Queen', the bands biggest hit in the seventies. This album might not be my favorite of Kayak's strong set of albums released between '2000 and '2005, but I do return to it once in a while and it never fails to please me. Very moody and emotional album.
friso | 4/5 |


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