4 out of 5 Stars!
The debut release—and lone album, unfortunately—from an obscure U.K. band named Kestrel features some rather commercial-sounding Progressive Rock with Hard Rock and AOR touches.
Indeed, the music on this album reminds me of numerous acts from the late ’60s and early ’70s—bands as diverse as Sugarloaf, The Guess Who, Argent, etc.—during the era when musicians really started experimenting with more complicated arrangements and instrumentation in a bid to add much-needed tinsel to their otherwise straightforward Pop songs.
So what you’ll find here is fairly decent, occasionally “singalong” material, with some creative instrumental fiddling, grand vocal harmonies, Mellotron excursions, and periodic rhythm shifts on many of the tracks, which adds flavor, texture, and unexpected treats.
Too bad the group didn’t release additional material; it would’ve been interesting to see the directions the band might have gone had Kestrel been given the opportunity for further experimentation and development.
Well, finally, a due recognition for Kestrel, probably overlooked by the mainstream market lacking any hits (apparently); and by the prog world because it wasn’t…quite…prog…enough. An American friend in Japan sent me a cassette in ’94. This is the first time I’ve ever seen the cover. Your thoughts on the album are about the same as my distant recollection of the last time I popped it in the deck. Cheers! Mark
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