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Jan Schelhaas - Dark Ships CD (album) cover


Jan Schelhaas


Crossover Prog

3.04 | 14 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I'm the one who suggested Jan Schelhaas for inclusion on PA, so reviewing this album is quite a duty for me.

I was digging in the various CAMEL lineups to see if anybody had released anything new and I have found this album. The opener and title track is for me the best of the album. I can hear echoes of CARAVAN in the vocals, the electronic ambients of the late PETER BARDENS and a generic Canterbury flavour. Good guitar solos and a captivating melody with light jazz moments.

"Red Sky At Morning" wants to be evocative. A soft keyboard base with "seagulls" and Hastings flute above. Two minutes reminding of "Breathless". This track fades into "Sails In The Sun", a song in a CARAVAN late 70s style.

Keyboards again for "True Blue". If I forget the vocals and think to the instrumental part only, it makes me think to Nude. The seagull of the second track appears here for a short while, too.

Things are better with "Holy Voices". The musical line of this song is non-trivial even though it's very melodic. It's one of the album's highlights. The central section is something that will appeal CAMEL and CARAVAN fans.

"Nothing On Earth" is a mellow song good for a drink after dinner in a quiet environment. This is one of the characteristics of this album and it's true for "Goin' To Shangai", too. The sounds used by CARAVAN, and sometimes by CAMEL in the 70s where still a bit acid. Replacing them with the mellow keyboards and a better production has caused it to sound too chill-out.

"The Voyage of Doby Mick" is almost identical to the previous song, melodic and chill-out with a tone of Caravan in the vocals. "Silent Solos" seems to be another version of the same song. I think a shorter album would have been better. However this last one is good enough.

"Dolphins and Oceans" is a terrible title. After all this chill-out a title like this is scaring. Taking alone this song is not bad, like the others, but all this "sugar" can cause a diabetes.

"Soon Be Dreaming" interrupts this sequence of "honey and sugar" with a jazzy piano piece. Unfortunately too short. Ususal seashore at the end.

"The Coast of Peru (Away Santiago)" is an interesting song even if in the mood of the previous "oceanic songs". Let's just say that Santiago is not in Peru, I think. But there's a lot of towns called Santiago in South America so I could be wrong.

A two minutes closer and the album is gone.

Have I been right in suggesting Jan Schelhaas ? I think yes in general, but this addition didn't bring any masterpiece to the PA.

3 stars to the career

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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