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Kayak - Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.88 | 129 ratings

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3 stars Merlin is an excellent album that was released long time ago in 1981 and I like the album very much. More than 20 years after the original Merlin was released Kayak released a new Merlin album, which consists of 5 old songs and 9 new ones; all of them were composed by Ton Scherpenzeel. The album revolves around Merlin or King Arthur's court the characters on this album are as follows: Merlin and Lancelot parts are sung by Bert Heerink, Mordred is Rob Vunderink and Morgaine and Guinevere's "roles" are sung by Cindy Oudshoorn. If you listen to the album for the first time you will be amazed by the beautiful songs and excellent orhestratio - something that Ton Scherpenzeel has been good at.

As original Merlin has been with me as one of my favorite albums where I know exactly how the vocal and the music sound together, it was quite hard for me to accept this new version of Merlin because the vocal is different than the original one mainly sung by Edward Reekers. For me, the vocal quality of Edward Reekers had become an integral part of the Kayak music and it's non replaceable. If I had never heard Merlin original version, I might consider this album as masterpiece. But's it's practically difficult for me to say so now as, again, the vocal quality of Edward Reekers has become an integral part of Merlin music.

I could say that the title track is a real masterpiece with outstanding orchestration, but something is missing on the vocal side. I am not saying that the vocal quality of the new singer is bad - in fact he has much power than Reekers - but ...still ...something is missing. The classic "old" Niniane (Lady Of The Lake) sounds really different on this 2003 version. Even though all the five old songs sound refreshing and more alive but they should be sung by Edward Reekers.

I am sure most people would consider this album as excellent or masterpiece. Well, I have to admit, they are right because musically this 2003 is really excellent especially with its orchestration. But, at personal level, the original Merlin has engrossed deeply into my mind. It's like enjoying the original Genesis' 'Carpet Crawlers' with the new recording even though the singer is the same but the overall nuance of the song has lost. So is the case with this new Merlin. So I consider it as a three star rating album - bearing the fact that the Merlin itself is an excellent album and this new version lacks originality despite the new songs. Keep on proggin' ...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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