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

A TAB IN THE OCEAN

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.08 | 569 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following in the psychedelic path that their debut album "Journey to teh Centre of the Eye" had delivered so well in a well-accomplished somber mood, Nektar decided to create a ballsier mood and a tighter sound for their sophomore effort "A Tab in the Ocean". In my opinion, and I happen to disagree with most of Nektar experts on this, I don't find the repetoire as effective and accomplished as in their debut, since the musical ideas tend to be less elaborated and more focused on repeating motifs without too many noticeable variations on them. On the other hand, it's clear that Nektar didn't intend to blatantly repeat themselves, and even more: this one happens to be the album in which the prototypical Nektar sound solidifies, particularly regarding Moore's ever intruding bass lines. This time, they would explore the symphonic trend a bit further while preserving their relentless taste for psyche-rock driven jams. The opening namesake suite, which filled the 16+ minutes of the vinyl's original version is an example of the virtues and relative shortcomings of the album as a whole. The majestic organ chord progressions of the opening theme and the solid bass playing by Derek Moore encapsulate a musical box in which the drums create a tightly precise foundation and the guitar displays effective harmonies and catchy solos. The sections flow into each other in a seamless continuum, and that's good, but it's also true that the piece was conceived in such a manner that the complexity wouldn't become a "problem" for the performers. In a way it is a pity, since these guys can do more complex things regarding the links between diverse musica lsections, as they had already shown in the "Journey" album and repeat beautifully in their 1975's album "Recycled". Anyway, my personal balance for the 'A Tab' suite is positive, especially regarding that special magic Nektar-style. The dual track 'Desolation Valley / Waves' finds the band creating jams around Allbrighton's guitar from the nucleus of simplistic, catchy melodic lines. Some jazz in here, some hard rock in there, but mostly this is psychedelic prog rock somewhat related to PF and the melodic side of krautrock. The last two segued tracks are definitive highlights in Nektar's history. 'Cryin' in the Dark' is an energetic rocker whose expansions give enough room for alterated organ and guitar leads, while 'King of Twilight' brings the mst majestic passages in the album after the opening suite. The moderate complexity generated by its semi-epic structure allows this closure to end this album effectively. 3.5-4 stars for this one.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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