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Kayak - See See The Sun CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.78 | 149 ratings

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4 stars An undeservedly underrated group is Kayak. Perhaps part of the reason for its relatively low profile is that it occupies a strange middle ground, with an unlikely combination of pop/rock vocal segments that owe more to Todd Rundgren than any main progressive rock group, interspersed with strong symphonic progressive rock as well. The vocals of Kayak's first lead singer Max Werner aren't that great, but are not a negative factor for me either while the classic line-up of Werner (vocals/mellotron), Tom Scherpenzeel (keyboards), Johan Slager (guitars), Cees van Leeuwen (bass) and Pim Koopman (drums) that cut the first two albums is highly competent, but far from flashy ... even during the lengthy instrumental interludes.

To top it all, Kayak have made many line-up shifts and passed through a number of styles. While the current outfit is making strong, neo-prog tinged music, I'm one of those who thinks that this early progressive pop phase saw Kayak at its best. In fact, I don't think it gets any better than See See The Sun.

Reason For It All ( with a healthy dose of Yes influences), the storming Mouldy Wood, the sparse, melodramatic Lovely Luna and the beautiful Beatlesque title track are probably my personal highlights, but this album has to be taken as a whole, for it is well balanced and possesses a great flow ... best exemplified by the moment when the edgy rocker Hope For A Life comes right after the seduction of Lovely Luna. Kayak also prove that you don't need length to be progressive ... Mammoth goes through a number of phases in a period of less than three minutes! I really like this record, and even my least favourite track, the schmaltzy Forever Is A Lonely Thought has a very nice Scherpenzeel piano solo.

There is a light (but not lightweight) feeling about Kayak's music that makes me think that this is one classic-era prog band that neo-prog fans will really enjoy. And even though they sound nothing like either ELO, Supertramp or the Alan Parsons Project (and indeed are emphatically more progressive) I do believe it is fans at this end of the scale who will derive the most joy from Kayak's music. And See See The Sun, surely Kayak's finest album, is the best place to start. ...

72% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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