Kayak is a Dutch band that was formed in the early 70’s! The band was active from 1973 to 1982 and they released 8 studio albums in between. In 1999 the band was reformed and is still active since then (thank you for that KAYAK!). And what an activity this is!
Almost a month ago, KAYAK released their new studio album named "Seventeen"; this is the band’s seventeenth studio album.
Personally speaking, if I had to choose between their 2 periods, I would choose the 2nd one, because their music has improved a lot during the last 17 years.
"Seventeen" is the band’s first studio album with the Inside Out label.
I don’t know if that had any impact on their music or not, but for me, "Seventeen" is one of their best works ever from the rest that I have been exposed to, at least (I have 7 KAYAK albums in my collection).
In "Seventeen", KAYAK band seems to be in great form and (mental) shape, balance and inspiration, which is obvious by the quality, sonority and variability of the songs.
I should also mention the participation of Andy Latimer of Camel as a special guest.
The album includes 12 songs and has a total running time of almost an hour.
The 2 long - over 10 minutes – songs that are included here can be characterized as the album’s highlights.
But if you ask me, the whole album is a highlight by itself.
I am familiar with it since 2 weeks and I keep listening to it on and on and on and on!
It is a wonderful piece of prog work and within each listening experience I discover something more deep and surprising in it; different layers of emotions, thoughts and images come into mind.
This is one of these albums that you absorb from the beginning to the end, sip by sip, without feeling the desire to press ‘skip’.
Every song has something to offer to the listener, from the simplest 3:00 minute long one, up to the far more complicated ‘epics’ because it seems to not only be well-rounded but also purposeful in a sense that serves their musical journey since many years. Respect!
Certainly, keep in mind that the album's general style can be characterized as Prog with Pop influences (and "what's the problem with that anyway", I remind myself; nothing at all actually!)
Even though the hardcore prog fans will not appreciate it that much, they may also learn how to listen, or make, songs that are catchy but also proggy at the same time; and this is nooooooot an easy task to do!
Kudos to KAYAK for that!
Besides, there are many short-duration songs included here, soft and mellow, in the style of Supertramp, let's say, which make "Seventeen" a jolly (and not only intricate) listen.
"Seventeen" is available in digital, CD and vinyl version, so it is easy to pick the one that might interests you.
Personally, I would recommend the vinyl because I love the vinyl sound mixes more than digital mixes!
There are also a few special colored vinyl editions available. (Keep in mind that the vinyl edition is also including the CD version; that's pretty cool!).
To me, it is an excellent and very enjoyable album as a whole (no song is excluded but see some of my highlights at the end of this review) and I’m perfectly happy with it!
I can definitely introduce a dummy progger to this album as a reference point, for sure!
So accessible, in terms of sound, and so challenging as a record at the same time! Bingo!
Although it is still very early, I'm pretty sure that, at the end of the year, it is going to be included in my annual top-10 album list for 2018.
Album's highlights: Somebody, La Peregrina, Falling, Walk Through Fire, God on Our Side, All that I Want, Love Sail Away, Cracks.