Nektar is a band that often defy description, so varied is their make-up and the moods their music evokes.
This is the second studio effort by the band after a long hiatus of 26 years, and it proves without a doubt that you can go back to an old love and have a positive outcome, in short this album is superb.
It has many moods, but one central theme and that is each of the musicians that play on this release are a virtuoso in their own right. It is hard to replace the original pieces of this band, because of the amazing chemistry that is shared, but this one features 3 of the 4 original members with a bass player picked by the original bassist to replace him.
Each of the eight tracks on offer are essential listening and offer a different side of the band:
If you want a ballad Child of Mine and Always are absolutely first rate, well written and superbly performed.
Would you prefer songs with mood and tempo changes (actually multiple ones) then check out Dancing into the void, Camouflage to White and Phazed by the storm.
Would you like something a little more grand with tempo changes and flourishes? Try out the Debate, an absolutely grand song with pomp and circumstance, tempo changes, and flourishes of plenty.
Each of the players is at the top of his game and essential to the music on offer:
Randy Dembo lays down the bottom end and adds other ends with his excellent foot pedal work.
Taff Freeman is his usual shades and color self adding many Hammond riffs to the mix.
Ron Howden is probably one of the best drummers I have ever heard, and is even better in concert. His chops are amazing and it often sounds like multiple people are playing the drums so energetic is his frenetic playing.
Roye Albrighton is the perfect front man for this group of virtuosos, he is graced with golden pipes (Great voice) and is one of the most versital guitar heroes I have ever seen. He is as one with his instrument and is able to play superb rythm guitar passages laced with even more impressive lead passages.
One might wonder if anything was lost with the long layoff?
Simply put, absolutely NOT! This band has managed to top any other release they have out there and that is saying something since they all are pretty stellar.
This is Nektar at their most polished and accessible, but the technical chops remain at the forefront of this amazing band.
If you pick up one Nektar release this year, make it Evolution because you will be glad you did!