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Ton Scherpenzeel - The Look-Out CD (album) cover


Ton Scherpenzeel


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Dutch keyboardist and composer Ton Scherpenzeel is best known as the leader of KAYAK. The first era of the band ended with the eighth album Merlin (1981) and the live album Eyewitness (1981). His solo debut was a rocked-up version of Camille Saint-SaŽns's Le Carnaval des Animaux, released in 1978. The same year when Scherpenzeel participated in CAMEL (Stationary Traveller and the live album Pressure Points, both 1984), he released his likewise pop-flavoured second solo album Heart of the Universe. It's half instrumental, half sung, and the vocalist Chris Rainbow is the same guy who sang the songs 'Cloak and Dagger Man' and 'Long Goodbyes' on the mentioned Camel studio album. Rainbow's vocals are also featured on The Alan Parsons Project song 'Gemini' from The Eye in the Sky (1982).

Three singles were taken from Heart of the Universe, each containing a song sung by Chris Rainbow, on the A side. 'The Look-Out' is a tight, uptempo pop song. As is the case with the whole source album, the arrangement is all keyboards and percussion, both acoustic and programmed. Scherpenzeel however uses his arsenal in a way that the listener doesn't necessarily miss guitars. This particular song actually slightly resembles 'Cloak and Dagger Man' -- my least fave track on Stationary Traveller -- without being quite as intensive in its "dangerous" atmosphere. It has no notable musical value for a prog listener but as a pop song of the era it's OK.

On the B side we've got a 2Ĺ-minute instrumental intro of the album's opening title track. It works nicely on its own, but then again the whole 7Ĺ-minute song featuring Rainbow's vocals is among the album's better ones. On the intro there are no percussion or programmed drums either, just dreamy and delicate, almost VANGELIS-like synths creating an orchestral feel. For the beauty of it I'll round my 2Ĺ stars upwards.

Matti | 3/5 |


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