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Down to Earth

Review by Gary Hill
This Nektar album might not get the attention of Recycled or Remember the Future, but it's really a classic Nektar set. I'd put it up nearly on a level plain with those. It has some jazz in the mix along with psychedelia and more. The blend of sounds is really trademark Nektar in so many ways. I should mention a couple things. First, I reviewed this from the original vinyl. Secondly, three of the songs here were previously reviewed as part of a compilation. For the sake of consistency, those track reviews were used here.

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Track by Track Review
Astral Man
Bouncy, fast paced and fun, this is kind of like classic Nektar mixed with pop music. It’s cool, but far from the best thing the group ever did.
Nelly The Elephant
The intro to this has a real show music kind of thing. Then we get a German announcer making an introduction as the band plays more typical Nektar sounds. This has a real jazzy element as it works out from there. It’s bouncy and a lot of fun, but also full of drama and charm. There’s a killer guitar solo. It’s quite a while before we get more vocals. They also have a German accent to them and are somewhat distant and echoey. This really has a killer instrumental groove to it throughout.
Early Morning Clown
The melodic prog that makes up this cut is classic. It has a bit of a 60s vibe to the piece in some ways. This is classic Nektar in spades, really.
That's Life
There is a mellower movement at the start of this. It's so clearly Nektar. It makes up a big chunk of the piece. It really sounds like no one else. Then they fire out into more fast paced jamming that's again unmistakable as Nektar. I like the balance between mellower and more rocking sounds on this thing. It works nicely between the two as it makes its way through.
Fidgety Queen
More of that German announcer opens this and the band fire out into a hard edged and psychedelic jam with jazz horn section. This reminds me of something Klaatu did later in their career. It’s a hard rocking tune that’s very catchy.
Oh Willy
This comes in fast paced, and it's a little jazzy. It's an energized powerhouse. It does include a dropped back section. As they come out it even gets a little funky.
Little Boy
This is melodic and more ballad-like. It's a cool respite from some of the craziness.
Show Me the Way
This energetic piece has some great prog shifts and turns. It's classy stuff for sure. It's actually probably my favorite piece of the whole album.
Rising gradually, this works out into a great jazzy groove. It never really goes far, though. It is a short closing instrumental that does a nice job of wrapping things up in style.
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