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Nektar - A Tab In The Ocean CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.07 | 576 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nektar cranks up the power chords and decides to rock!

This album tends to become less inspiring over time, though there's a fair bit of creativity. The first thing that pops out after repeated listens is the quality: it's 1972, and this muddy sound is the best you can do? Maybe they should have stayed in Britain--if this would have gotten Who's Next production, then we may have close to a masterpiece. As it stands, many of the good ideas lose some of their impact, and the result is a good, yet not great, album.

A Tab in the Ocean. This one really loses interest over time for me. There are different themes, and each is fairly catchy, but there's no denying that this is basically fifteen minutes of quarter notes and keyboard triplets. Also, I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but it seems that they really struggle to keep up the tempo in places--this should be much bouncier, but as it stands, there's a lot of dragging going on. The guitar is very simple (though the power chords are largely effective), and the organ is basically at beginner's level. The title track could have been much better, given the decent melodies and song structure.

Desolation Valley/Waves. A jazzy piece, slightly reminiscent of Yes' beginnings. There is some rocking guitar, but the mellow parts make it difficult to listen far enough to appreciate them properly.

Crying in the Dark/King of Twilight. Unlike most reviewers, this is the absolute highlight of the album for me. These two tracks are basically one 10 minute, hard-rocking tour-de-force. There is no problem with production, tempo-dragging, or holding back (especially on the guitar and drums) here. The guitar section in Crying in the Dark has an incredible, face-melting build, and just when you think it's over, Nektar kicks it up a notch for the killer King of Twilight. One of the best album endings out there for me!

Don't get my 3 star rating wrong--you probably need this album in your prog collection, but it shows both the strengths and limitations of Nektar. Too bad they couldn't find a middle ground between this and their next album--the rocking on this album and production of Remember the Future would have made a killer combo.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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