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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


See See The Sun (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

The debut release from Kayak, the brand of progressive rock delivered here was both unique and also reminiscent of some of the greats This 1973 release features a good range, leaning at points toward more mainstream stuff, but also stretching into a lot of pure prog zones. It was a great introduction to the band.

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Track by Track Review
Side 1
Reason for it All

Fast paced piano gets things underway with style. The tune grows out from there with an almost Yesish groove. There are some hints of jazz in the mix, too. The piano remains prominent throughout, but there is some killer synthesizer work, as well. The instrumental break after the two-minute-mark also includes harpsichord. That gets into some killer melodic prog jamming that includes some tasty guitar work. It's quite an extensive movement, but eventually it deposits us back into the song proper to eventually end it.

A bombastic introduction gives way to some mellow balladic prog. This gets symphonic and creative. The vocal arrangement is all class. This turns to smoking hot progressive rock jamming from there. The vocals are so intriguing in the way the lines contrast to the music. This is of the more mainstream variety, but it also has plenty of unusual textures and changes built into it. It gets plenty of bombast in the mix, too.
Mouldy Wood
A fast, twisting and turning jam opens this thing. It's so amazing and cool. They really up the ante here. It settles to a less crazed, but still decidedly proggy movement for the entrance of the vocals. There is a drop back to mellower stuff around the halfway mark. The cut continues to evolve from there with some crazed prog jamming ensuing after a time.
Lovely Luna
Starting mellow with haunting flute, other instruments join tentatively and that flute drops away. The vocals come in over the top of a mellow, slow moving arrangement. I'm reminded of some of the gentler work of early King Crimson. It remains slow, but turns louder and piano and distorted guitar (it almost sounds like bass) take over as it approaches the half-way mark. The cut drives onward from there, growing gradually as non-lyrical vocals are heard. This thing grinds forward and upward as it turns toward more bombastic prog later.
Side 2


Hope for a Life

While this is quirky and proggy, it lands closer to mainstream rock than the other music here does. It's a classy tune that still has some tasty prog elements. I particularly love the keyboard work. The instrumental section really does take it into more purely proggy zones.

Ballet of the Cripple
I love the keyboard sound on the introduction to this number. The track drifts to a more droning kind of arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. While this has a real AOR prog mode at its heart, there are also some Beatlesesque things at play. This is of the more mainstream rocker variety, but it's still packed full of plenty of progressive rock angles. It drops to an acapella section, and then powers upward with some killer prog keyboards over the rhythm section. It keeps evolving from there.
Forever is a Lonely Thought
Acoustic guitar starts this by itself. The cut becomes a slow moving balladic arrangement that has definite Beatles-like vibes to it. This eventually shifts to soaring, powerful progressive rock as it grows organically. There is a dropped back section that takes over at the end, linking it closer to the start of the number.
We're dropped right into it as this gets underway. It begins with a rather Beatlesesque prog jam. There are a number of changes that come in fast fashion, starting with some almost circus music kind of stuff. As it gets into the song proper, it makes me think of what you might get it Nektar and Klaatu did a song together. (And, yes, I know that this predated Klaatu.) The strange changes from the intro return on the instrumental break.


See See the Sun
The title track closes the album. It comes in with a real triumphant arrangement. That holds the introduction, but it drops to piano and vocals for the start of the song proper. It builds to more of a mainstream rock tune from there. This is a melodic number that still has some proggy chops and a great vocal arrangement. It really gets into some soaring zones before it's over. It's a great way to end things in style.
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