If you ask the man/woman in the street to name the best (most famous) Dutch rock band than you will probably get answers like: Golden Earring, Focus, The Nits or Livin' Blues. Kayak, founded in 1972, will probably not be mentioned and that is a shame, as that band has had a series of successful albums and several hit singles and they almost had an international breakthrough in 1977! Now, 45 years later after releasing their debut album See See The Sun, Kayak is back with their 17th studio album, originally called 17. The band has an almost complete new line up, only founding member Ton Scherpenzeel is still on board, consisting of: singer Bart Schwertmann (Galaxy and Vanderlinde), Marcel Singor (guitar), Kristoffer Gildenlow (bass guitar, only played on the song Cracks) and Colin Leijenaar (drums), who does not play on the album actually..
Seventeen contains 12 tracks of which 8 are rather short compact typical Kayak tunes with lots of melody and sometimes catchy choruses, while there are also three long, almost epic tracks and one fantastic instrumental song. The latter is called Ripples On The Water and that breathtaking song features no less than Andy Latimer (Camel) on lead guitar. Ripples On The Water is a marvelous instrumental with lots of melody and heavenly guitar work by Latimer and the song really reminds me of the glorious Camel album Rain Dances, released way back in 1977! The other highlights on this album are the three long tracks called: La Peregrina (clocks over 11 minutes), Walk Through Fire (10:23) and Cracks (8:50) ,as these songs are real symphonic rock beauties. Especially the long songs that are “dominated” by the amazing and stunning guitar work of Marcel Singor and his solos in La Peregrina and Walk Through Fire are a treat for every melodic guitar rock lover; this guy can play!! The vocals of newcomer Schwertmann are also worth mentioning as he really gives the songs an extra dimension; just listen to the very intimate closing ballad of the album To An End.
Seventeen is an excellent album and not just only for Kayak fans, so be sure to check it out!!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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