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Nektar

Skywriter / Devils Door (single)

Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new single from the new incarnation of Nektar. Roye Albrighton might be gone, but the spirit of classic Nektar is alive and well. This is the opening salvo that will be followed up by the full album release and a new album. There are two versions (one a radio edit and the other what I assume to be the full album take) of "SkyWriter." It's interesting to note that two bass players are heard on the tune, original Nektar bassist Derek "Mo" Moore and also Randy Dembo. In addition to Moore, the lineup also includes Ron Howden (drums) from the classic era of Nektar. Ryche Chlanda does a great job on guitar and vocals.  Dembo handles bass pedals and 12-string guitar in addition to his bass work. Kendall Scott plays keyboards. Moore and Howden also contribute vocals to the music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
SkyWriter
A percussive bit opens this and holds it for a time. Then a faster paced prog jam emerges from there to move it forward. It drops to a more stripped back arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. The cut builds gradually from there. This cut is tastefully complex and really has a classic Nektar sound to it.
Devils Door
As strong as the previous cut was, I might like this even more. It has so much of that classic Nektar sound built into it. This has some strong hooks along with definite prog rock shifts and changes. It's mainstream, but also quite proggy. I love the keyboard solo section later in the number. It's so tasty. So is the guitar solo that comes in after that. It should be noted that the opening guitar part on this is actually by Albrighton and used with permission of Lyn Albrighton.
SkyWriter (Radio Edit)
This time around we get a shorter version of the earlier cut. It is a bit more direct in this approach, but that doesn't mean there isn't time for some instrumental exploration. I don't know if I can pick a favorite from the two versions.
 
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