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Kayak - Phantom of the Night CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.46 | 100 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Phantom Of The Night' sees Kayak regressing rather than progressing. They obviously wanted to go into a pop direction pretty early on, and this album sees them nailing their goal firmly. Unfortunately, there's not much on 'Phantom Of The Night' for anyone who enjoyed the band's first couple albums. Kayak's lineup was expanded this time around to include new vocalist Edward Reekers, which put former vocalist Max Werner behind the drums for good. Reekers is probably technically better than Werner, but this is at the expense of having any edge, as his delivery is what I would call "vanilla". Admittedly, he fits in well with the band's continuing (de)evolution. Things get off to a weak start with "Keep The Change" and the even wimpier "Winning Ways". Pure pop, totally upbeat and very middle-of-the-road. Lite fare. "Daphne (Laurel Tree)" provides some calming, airy moments before widening its scope into a semi-epic vibe, the first real sign of life on this album. Then the one real saving grace appears in the form of "Journey Through Time". Based around an almost sinister riff and a feeling of unease, the song is one of few high-points in late-'70s Kayak, one you can hold up to the quality of their first two albums. It bounces between unease and brighter, warmer textures, like something from Genesis' 'And Then There Were Three'. The title track does provide some substance, but it doesn't seem fully formed and I've never been able to get my head around it. From here on out, there's nothing much of interest to be heard (ie. a DISMAL Side 2!). The whole album is smothered in the gentle atmosphere that is the Kayak trademark, dynamics tending toward the quiet and lush end of the scale. That's fine, I just don't think Kayak is very interesting when they fall into this sort of malaise. 'Phantom Of The Night' is near the bottom of a real downhill slide, and I only keep it around because 1) I got a copy cheap, and 2) "Journey Through Time" is fantastic.
slipperman | 2/5 |


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