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Kayak - Starlight Dancer CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.10 | 73 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Plain sailing

Having taken heed of a number of recommendations by Prog Archives members relating to the work of Kayak, I invested in a seductively priced double CD collection which contains three of Kayak's albums ("Starlight dancer", "Phantom of the night", and "Periscope life").

It may be that these albums were not the best place to start with the band, but all I found here was pleasant but totally unchallenging pop. This album consists of 11 songs each three to five minutes in length. There's no feature track or suite of connected songs, everything is kept very simple. Now don't get me wrong here, the quality of the music is undeniable, and the album makes for a pleasant diversion from the complexities of prog, BUT this is pop, pure and simple.

There is certainly a diversity of styles here, including The Beatles/Paul McCartney ("Daughter or son", "Golddust"), 10CC ("Let down"), and City Boy ("Turn the tide"). Ballads such as "Where do we go from here" and " May" work well, often sounding similar to those of the Alan Parsons Project. The occasional instrumental interlude or even entire track (the beautiful, cascading "Irene" featuring some fine sax) show the band to be competent in that field, although they never appear to push themselves into anything which might be described as adventurous.

I did catch a fleeting hint of the neo-prog of IQ on "Want you to be mine", and a hint of more complex structures on the title track, but they turned out to be cruel teasers, the songs ending before anything truly progressive could sneak in.

In summary, Kayak are highly competent in their field. On the evidence of this, (and the two succeeding albums) that field is high quality pop rock with strict limitations on the parameters they work within.

This review is based on the original album by Kayak called "Starlight dancer", now available as part of the "Three originals" collection . A compilation was later released under the same name in the USA, which draws its tracks from this album plus "The last encore".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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