The subtitle of this package (2 cd´s and a DVD) is 1973 – 2008, Live in Paradiso. For those of you who don´t know, Paradiso is a concert hall in Amsterdam, situated in a former Church. A nice hall!
So from the start we know that Kayak celebrated their 25 years of existence with this concert. And what a concert it was. From the go you get the feeling you missed something if you weren´t there. And I wasn´t, so boy am I glad to be able to listen to this!
A lot of tracks are from the more recent albums, and all well executed. I think their use of male and female vocalists really works well for them. There is a lot of variation between the songs, but even the most quiet pieces are awesome. What a feel. And as they use 2 guitar players now, this sure rocks when it needs to. Time flies by listening to this, and repeated plays are welcomed. So this is quality folks.
This is a stunning show with only highlights. To put it simply: if you like Kayak, buy it. If you once liked Kayak, but are not sure now, buy it anyway. If you think they don´t rock, buy this to prove you wrong.
Considering the work of keyboard player Ton Scherpenzeel in Dutch theaters, it is not strange that you will find a lot of variety on the double disk. The opening is musical like, with choirs singing and all. And truth be told, they pull it off greatly. You will have understood this is a concept album about the (in)famous French prophet. At times a storyteller is used, though I must confess I am not all too keen on that. It´s not that it is bad, it´s just not my cup of tea I guess.
As said, there is a great variety between the songs at hand. Luckily I don´t feel the story is interfering with the music. A lot of the music is typical Kayak. If you know and like them, this means you will like this as well. Several lead singers (male and female) can be heard. They personify different characters in the story. Some songs rock, some are very subtle, you hear influences from for instance Irish Folk, and it is always melodic. All done with care and competence, without becoming all too predeictable. These guys and girls are too experienced to let things get out of hand. All in all an album that will grow on repeated play, so buy it when you are into classic prog.
Personal play tips: Friend of the Stars, Pagan´s Paradise, The Inquisition, A Man With Remarkable Talent, The Flying Squadron, The Centuries.
Recently I bought some cd’s from Dutch band Kayak. Kinda lost track of them after Periscope Life (1980), but I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I listened to “Close To the Fire” (2000) and “Coming Up For Air” (2008).
And some more albums are waiting to be heard.
In comparison to the older work I know, the dynamics have improved. By this I mainly speak of the guitar work; it is at times more heavier than I recall. That said; I like it a lot. Adds more bite to the music. Also the voice of singer Cindy Oudshoorn is a welcome addition to the sound of the band. I should mention however that both albums are recorded with a somewhat different cast. But the rest of the band knows what they are doing also. Most players are accomplished musicians and veterans on the scene. Shame drummer Pim Koopman died unexpectedly not so long ago.
Still the trademarks of the band are there; melodic, varied, sometimes even radio friendly songs. But for the proggies amongst us, they still know how to write some decent and varied tunes.
- Close to the Fire:
Close to the Fire, Crusader, Two Wrongs
- Coming up for Air:
Alienation, Man in the Cocoon, Time Stand Still
If you haven’t heard from them in a long time; go check them out again, it’s worth it!