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Nektar - Book Of Days CD (album) cover



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4 stars Life's a book, turn the page, the dreamer is near.

Nektar's been through some changes over the years, musically more than in personnel. The original lineup was mostly consistent until they broke up after their 1980 album. After the band had taken a more commercial turn and fizzled out, the lead guitarist and vocalist, Roye Albrighton, rekindled the flame taking Nektar in a more progressive direction. Book Of Days marks the third album of the reincarnated Nektar. There have been more changes in the musicians over the latest three album and the current band now has Roye with the original drummer Ron Howden and a couple of new comers: Klaus Henatsch and Peter Pichl. Who knows if this lineup will stay stable for a few a few more albums, but I certainly hope so as this is probably the best of three new albums. Two years in the making and quite worth the wait.

Over Krakatoa starts off the set. It's a nice short and sweet rocker. The kind of tune that might get air play and be a hit if radio is what it was in the '70's. I think I detect a little neo-prog influence going on here.

King Of The Deep a song in part about how we are wrecking the seas. Starts out rocking again but then breaks into beautiful mellow instrumental interlude taking you underwater with synths and acoustic guitar, Roye kicks in some electric, then lifts you back returning to a reprise of the first section.

Lamora. A beautiful little acoustical guitar piece by Roye. Say no more.

Dr. Kool. An upbeat ode to botox and plastic surgery? A fun song musically with a bit of an odd lyrical theme. "Keep the years away."

The Iceman. With the electric drums you might think Roye's trying to get in on some of that '80's action he missed out on. Probably the most neo-prog track on here. It's a commentary on modern men of power.

Where Are You Now is one of my favorites. Starts out really rich instrumentally before the vocals kick in. Lots of changes with really tasty instrumental bits between the vocal parts. If you need an answer to place in space and time you just might find it here.

Book Of Days (between the lines). Time to mellow out now for a bit and get a little reflective.

Book Of Days. The first part continues on uplifting and hopeful though then suddenly stops.

Report this review (#192030)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Funky!

A while ago I heard Nektar's previous album, Evolution, and was quite impressed with it. Before this, I was only familiar with some of the band's early releases such as Remember The Future and Recycled, but after having heard the excellent Evolution, I decided to dig deeper into Nektar's discography. By now I think that I have heard pretty much all their studio albums. While I consider Evolution one of the band's very best albums, this follow-up album, Book Of Days, is slightly disappointing to my ears. There is still some good material here, though.

One thing that impressed me with Evolution was how varied it was and how close it was to Symphonic Prog. It rocked quite hard at times but it also had a strong acoustic nature with several parts having grand piano and acoustic guitars as central ingredients. Nektar showed us there that they had the ability to be reflective and mellow. This element is largely subdued on Book Of Days, which is overall a more straightforward and very funky rock album. There is a lovely but very short acoustic guitar piece called Lamorna, and the two title tracks are ballads. These three are also the best tracks on Book Of Days. The rest is mid-tempo, often funky hard rock. The three 10+ minute tracks that occupy the middle of the album feel a bit samey and Doktor Kool is a real embarrassment that brings the album down further. No song with such a corny title can be successful. And indeed, it isn't! The lyrics are awful.

The melodies on Book Of Days are also not as memorable and strong as those one Evolution or Remember The Future or Recycled or Tab In The Ocean.

Book Of Days is not the worst Nektar album. But also far from the best. This is an average Nektar album. Good, but non-essential.

Report this review (#219909)
Posted Friday, June 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The newest studio album to date is Book of days released in May 2008 and is again a good album, thir fifteen release from their catalogue. Nektar needed 4 years to come with this one, after Evolution from 2004. Well, the album alternates from melodic rock to more progressive arrangements, with catchy parts in Nektar's vein, but also has some funky beats on some parts, a thing that sounds intristing when is about Nektar music. Albrighton is again on top form, his voice is pleasent on every album he appear. A balance album overall with mid tepo pieces most of the time, with some fine hooks like opening track Over Krakatoa with neo prog leaning in parts. So, a good album, I still prefer Evolution before this one from newer albums, but this Book of days has enough good moments to be clasified as good, even is nothing realy special overall. 3 stars for sure.
Report this review (#510210)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars So what happened here? Nektar meets Nazareth or something?

This album has by far the worst sound of any Nektar album in my opinion. It's too electronic and digital, much less warm and human than usual. The songs are not bad, but definitely not great. "Where Are You Now" and the two "Book Of Days" that close the album are the best songs, and this is a strange feeling; it sound like a 2 stars album at the beginning, but it becomes a solid 2.5 stars at the end.

When I look back at the very respectable discography of Nektar and I only find one album worst than this (The Prodigal Son), then I can't give it more then 2/5. Generally forgettable.

Report this review (#1602115)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2016 | Review Permalink

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