Nektar — Journey to the Centre of the Eye
This debut album by Nektar is an easy listen, and this time it’s not a bad thing. The guitar may appear a little too technical at times, but the songs are highly harmonic and are arranged in a perfect continuum, just in the way a journey should feel like. The Dream Nebula is split into two parts in order to ensure the continuity once the record is flipped to its other side. A delightful album, and if you’re new to progressive rock—a great place to start.
Caravan — Caravan (album)
The distant, soothing sounds on this album, somewhat similar to the echoing style of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, will cause your mind to wander and shape strange things out of it. Listening to this album feels more like a dream than reality.
Gentle Giant — Acquiring the Taste
I decided to start my Gentle Giant reviews with this second album, because I already had listened to the first one before, and also due to this declaration, found on sleeve text of the album:
“…It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular. We have recorded each composition with the one thought – that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating. It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge to achieve this. From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts of blatant commercialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial and fulfilling. All you need to do is sit back, and acquire the taste.”
And the album IS extremely rich in ideas. The music takes you by the hand and constantly leads you to a new phrase, hardly ever repeating itself. The sounds itself are extremely diverse. Over 40 different instruments were used in the making of Acquiring the Taste. One time they whisper right into your ear, the next moment they drive you on with rock elements, another while they take you back to the medieval era, just like Gryphon does in their first album.
Listen to this, acquire the taste, and discover something new about yourself as you do.
Unruly Child — Unruly Child
An eponymous pop rock album from the 90’s. I stumbled upon something from their second album and thought I might give it a chance this Friday evening. And guess what? It was just as horrible as I feared it would be.
I tended to like the first track, On The Rise, but the next ones started to get unbearable. I don’t know why this album never made it big, since it certainly has the “qualities” for it. For starters, each song lasts for exactly four minutes, which is an optimal length for radio plays. The album also includes both wannabe driving rock and lame guitar solos mixed in with the slow, boring feel-the-love blubber. However, the guitar is clean and the voice of the singer adequate. In addition to that, the last song even shows a glimpse of creativity (it lasts 6 minutes instead of 4)!
I took a piece called Urkuhopitus, made by a friend of mine, and jammed along with my guitar.
Check it out, if you might: