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Kaprekar's Constant - Depth Of Field CD (album) cover

DEPTH OF FIELD

Kaprekar's Constant

 

Crossover Prog

3.97 | 68 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Okay, I admit it, I deliberately delayed playing this CD, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, their debut blew me away and I was worried that this couldn't possibly stand up against it (the dreaded second album syndrome), and if it did stand up then I was in all sorts of trouble as I am already miles behind where I need to be on reviewing and the debut was a "blocker", i.e. I was enjoying it so much that I had problems listening to anything else. Well, I eventually took the plunge, noting that not only is Van der Graaf Generator sax player, David Jackson still involved, but Caravan drummer Mark Walker is now in the band while Ian Anderson contributes some spoken words.

This is not the type of progressive rock which one expects to hear these days, it belongs in a time gone past. There are times when it is pastoral with folk elements, it is multi-layered, complex and lush with arrangements which lift up the listener and allow them on rest gently on a cloud of notes as the sounds just swirl round and round. With both a lead male singer in Bill Jefferson and lead female in Dorie Jackson they are able to switch emphasis, while in Al Nicholson, Mike Westergaard and Nick Jefferson the band have three multi-instrumentalists who combine together to provide an amazing backdrop. Jackson is here not only for sax, but also flute and whistles. As with the debut album, the lyrics are incredibly important, telling stories from times gone past, and to hear someone actually talking about trying to see "doodlebugs" (the V-1 flying bombs used to such deadly effect by Germany on London) when they were a child, really draws one into "Ghost Planes".

Again, there are a mixture of shorter and longer pieces, but while "Rosherville" is broken into three, we are treated to "White Star's Sunrise" in its 24-minute-long uninterrupted entirety. Lyrically this tells the story of the three vessels which formed the Olympic class of White Star lines. The first of these, for which the class was named, was the only one to have a lengthy service, while the second was of course 'Titanic'. The third was 'HMHS Britannic', which as is implied had been put into service as a hospital ship during the first world war but was sunk after a German mine bear Greece. Three very different outcomes for the sisters, all told with reverence and empathy, all with the right amount of decorum and respect. Just listening to the lyrics made me ask questions about what had actually happened, and I undertook research as while we have all heard of the fateful journey of the 'Titanic', the others were new to me. Music which makes one think, whatever next?

Complex and highly structured, this is actually very easy progressive rock music to listen to, crossing over many different sub genres, moving from folk and acoustic to rock, use old audio clips to bring stories to life, always feeling the band are in total control and refuse to be rushed at all. Incredibly well-conceived and delivered, there is no doubt that Kaprekar's Constant are continuing to show that there is a real place for reflective progressive rock in the current musical scene, and no-one does it better.

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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