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Nektar

Remember The Future

Review by Gary Hill

There are those who consider Remember The Future to be the creative peak of Nektar's career. Certainly there are reasons to buy into that philosophy. The album is an ambitious effort, one extended work divided into two parts. The music is very seamless, seeming much more like one long composition than a series of shorter songs tied together. Few bands could pull off something of this nature, and even less could do with it as much style as Nektar did. For these reasons, and just the sheer entertainment value, this album is recommended as a must have both for fans of the band and for prog fans in general.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Remember The Future Part One
Rising up out of nothingness, a crescendo of sound begins the piece. A somewhat funky guitar chording starts the song proper and the other instruments gradually join in. This syncopated segment features great work from all. It gives way to a more dramatic and balladic guitar styling. The band builds on this format, running it through its course as an instrumental segment. As the next vocal section enters the song takes another curve moving into new, slower dramatic directions. They continue to build on this mode for a time until a new faster-paced segment enters. This carries into the dramatic "Who made you, Who made me" section that gets quite dramatic. This itself is full of drama and change. The latter portions of the cut are especially triumphant right until the resolution of the story line so far. There it shifts to a slower, more melodic style. A droning segment enters to allow for an instrumental break that thoroughly rocks out in prog power and energy before the whole piece circles down to make way for part two.
Remember The Future Part Two
Coming in with a sedate guitar melody, the other instruments join, and a melodic rather pretty progression begins to rise up and take the piece. This mode maintains until a more dramatic section takes its place. This dramatic instrumental mode plays through then another new movement begins in a balladic type of style. The cut builds on that mode, and we come into another powerful verse. After this segment plays out for a time another new melody line emerges and begins a building process for a time. As part of this building a chanting type vocal enters, then as this crescendos a new section appears powered by a somewhat funky bass line. It continues on in this way for a time recreating and restating this theme. Then a triumphant chorus enters and crescendos giving way to a slightly melancholy melody. An extremely brief faster-paced segment intercedes. When the melancholy section returns it is not again interrupted. The verses based on this mode are very dramatic and evocative and truly this is probably the most powerful section of the whole album. It moves on from there to another slow paced movement that somewhat carries on the texture of the one that gave way to it while felling just a little Floydish, particularly in the guitar tones on the solo. The cut stops for a moment, then a new chording pattern with a fairly quick tempo comes out, and earlier vocal themes return. The cut builds on this until another triumphant and powerful chorus takes it. The composition continues to alternate between these two modes before a segment driven by funk-oriented guitar and potent vocals moves us into new territory. The next movement gets extremely funky, but really jams. The movement that brings us out of there is harder edged and just a bit in the mode of Captain Beyond. The funk returns once again along with more Gilmourish guitar soloing. That segment ends abruptly and atmospherics take the album to its conclusion.
 
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