Dancing In The Shade

SKU: SPV304392
Label:
SPV
Category:
Progressive Rock
Add to wishlist 

"This 1989 album continues Kraan's chosen path they traveled during the 1980s, and like their other albums of the period, it bears the sound of the era it was made. For a lot of bands, the transition from the values of the 1970s to the 1980s was a difficult one, with the band either changing their style completely, or sticking to their guns and failing. However, with Kraan, I've always gotten the impression they were quite comfortable in their new 80s shoes. Their sound is different from the 70s albums, but their core style seems to be a more natural fit for 80s stylings. They've always been relaxed and not afraid to have fun - I've always liked how they're always smiling in their band photos. Despite a couple of awkward tracks, this album is pretty rock-solid, typical off their albums of the period but taking some chances with the current-day technology as well, resulting in some successful steps forward.
"Rockets", the opening song, is a total triumph and one of their best ever songs. Anthemic, raging space rock worthy of Hawkwind, jammed with melodic hooks and an unforgettable lyric (Come into my arms / Let the rockets fly / Together we die) - this would make a great opening track for any album, and even sounds like it could have done well as a single. "Good Enough" is a decent midtempo rocker with a solid melody - if the album were full of these it would get pretty dull fast, but as a come- down from the heights of "Rockets", it does its job (it's "good enough"). A pair of nifty instrumentals follow - "Egyptian Cha Cha" brings in Kraan's ongoing interest in MIddle Eastern melodies, sounding a bit like what Secret Chiefs 3 might have sounded like in the 80s. Standout track "Polarity" feels like a new chapter in a long line of memorable melllow-yet-dramatic instrumental numbers this band seems to put out effortlessly (Ausflug, Luna Park, Silky Way, etc), and it stands up well next to any of them. And then we get the title track, a lovely and romantic little reggae number that sounds like it was rescued from an early Sting record. Prog fans may be scared off by this, but to me it underscores why Kraan is such a fine band - they couldn't really suck if they tried! The front half of the album concludes with another groovy and smooth jazzy instrumental called "Banana Moon" that continues the beachy vibe of the prior track. It throws in a few odd scales to keep you off balance, but this is easy listening that gives you something to ponder.

The album's second half isn't quite so impressive as the first. "Is This the Way" is the main culprit I had in mind in the first paragraph when I referred to "awkward tracks" . It has a brisk, mechanical dance beat and a melody that fails to inspire me like the other pop songs thus far have. Then we have "Middle East Beat", an instrumental that's a bit too similar to "Egyptian Cha Cha" to warrant too much interest. Things get outright strange with the innocuously titled "One Day", a mostly synthesized (with horns joining in the mayhem eventually) chanted number that is unlike anything they'd done to this point. This tune certainly wins some weirdo points, not a bad thing to keep us on our toes like that, but it feels like an experiment that doesn't have enough meat on it to qualify as a great song, though it is cool and interesting while it lasts.

The CD edition contains a couple of additional tracks not on the original LP, plus three alternate versions/demos. "Kraan Mooloo" is basically "Polarity Part 2", but Kraan does this kind of number so well it's a welcome re-entry. Then there is "Soldier Drums", a fine slice of 80s art pop/rock. I could see someone like Tony Carey having done this on one of his concept albums. Dense and pithy, but quite electronic and 80s sounding. The CD concludes with demo versions of "Dancing in the Shade", "Good Enough", and "Polarity". These all sound similar to their finished versions, lacking only the smaller details that made it to the final mixes.

If you like Kraan's late 70s to early 80s efforts like "Weiderhoren", "Flyday", and "Nachtfahrt" (coincidentally, my three favorites in their catalog), you're pretty likely to enjoy this. If all you know is their first few early to mid 70s albums, this album may rub you the wrong way at first, but I'm fairly confident you'd agree that even with the 80s sound, this album has way more hits than misses." - ProgArchives

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Remastered edition of this classic progressive hard rock album from the British twin axe attack.  Comes with three bonus tracks.
    $5.00
  • One of the great hard rock albums of the 70s.  After Uli Jon Roth left the band he was replaced by Matthias Jabs.  His guitar technique was far removed from the neoclassical stylings of Roth, taking a more traditional hard rock/melodic metal approach.  Returning to the fold is Rudi's brother Michael Schenker.  With streamlined songwriting it all comes together.  A non-stop killer.
    $5.00
  • First time this album has seen an official release on CD. Recorded in 1979, Hey Du featured a new lineup including Kraan keyboardist Ingo Bishof (Helmut Hattler appears on one track under a psuedonym). The music has a more commercial almost funkified veener but their strong playing still comes through. Apparently this was one of their best selling albums. Comes with a previously unreleased bonus track.
    $9.00
  • The last album from The Nice features some of their best work: Hang On To A Dream, My Back Pages, and the great version of America. Remastered edition comes with 2 bonus tracks - "Country Pie" and "Pathetique (Symphony No 6, 3rd Movement) from BBC Sounds Of The Seventies.
    $10.00
  • New 2CD/DVD edition of the live set filmed at the 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands in October 2008. The 130 set includes a complete performance of "Fear Of A Blank Planet". As to be expected the camera work and overall production is impeccable.
    $17.00
  • "For a band that quickly evolved into a radio-friendly prog-leaning outfit, it's a wonder that Wishbone Ash started out as the boogie and blues-based group that this debut reveals. If the term "jam band" existed in 1970, Wishbone Ash surely would have been a major player in that genre. As it was, this album stacked up nicely when compared with other British hard rock releases that year. Not as complex or calculated as Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin III but definitely more focused than Mott the Hoople's Mad Shadows, Wishbone Ash more closely resembled Benefit by Jethro Tull, a group that hadn't yet adopted its own progressive elements. The dual lead guitar attack of Andy Powell and Ted Turner was a component that none of the above bands possessed, but unfortunately their (shared) lead vocals lacked the punch and authority necessary for hard rock bands to be taken seriously. So while they could rock as loudly and convincingly as virtually anyone, their lead singers, perhaps, held them back from being the force they should have been. The follow-up, Pilgrimage, took steps to rectify Wishbone Ash's odd position, but this album nevertheless opened eyes and ears and revealed to the rock & roll community a band with incredible potential and talent." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Steve Hackett returns to his roots.  This is the second time he's revisited the Genesis years.  This two disc set features reworking of material that Steve co-wrote.  In addition to members of his touring band, he has assembled an amazing array of guest musicians to help reinterpret classic Genesis compositions: Roger King, Amanda Lehmann, Christine Townsend, Dave Kerzner, Dick Driver, Francis Dunnery, Gary O’Toole, John Hackett, John Wetton, Mikael Akerfeldt, Nad Sylvan, Nik Kershaw, Phil Mulford, Roine Stolt, Steve Rothery, Nick Magnus, Neal Morse, Jeremy Stacey, Conrad Keely, Nick Beggs, Steven Wilson, Rob Townsend, Jakko Jakszyk, Simon Collins, Lee Pomeroy, Djabe.Tracklisting Disc 1:The Chamber of 32 Doors (6:00)Nad Sylvan: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsDick Driver: Double bassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsChristine Townsend: Violin, ViolaRachel Ford: CelloJohn Hackett: FluteBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionHorizons (1:41)Steve Hackett: GuitarsBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionSupper’s Ready (23:35)Mikael Akerfeldt: Vocals (1)Simon Collins: Vocals (2)Steve Hackett: Guitars, Vocals (3)Conrad Keely: Vocals (4)Francis Dunnery: Vocals (5)Lee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsJeremy Stacy: DrumsDave Kerzner: additional Keyboards & programmingBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionThe Lamia (7:47)Nik Kershaw: VocalsSteve Rothery: GuitarsSteve Hackett: GuitarsLee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsJohn Hackett: FluteBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionDancing With The Moonlit Knight (8:10)Francis Dunnery: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsLee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsJeremy Stacey: DrumsJohn Hackett: FluteRob Townsend: Soprano Sax, WhistleFly On A Windshield (2:54)Gary O'Toole: Vocals, DrumsSteve Hackett: GuitarsRoger King: KeyboardsLee Pomeroy: BassBroadway Melody of 1974 (2:23)Gary O'Toole: Vocals, DrumsSteve Hackett: GuitarsLee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsThe Musical Box (10:57)Nad Sylvan: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsLee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsRob Townsend: Soprano SaxCan-Utility And The Coastliners (5:50)Steven Wilson: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsNick Beggs: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsChristine Townsend: ViolinRob Townsend: WhistlePlease Don’t Touch (4:03)Steve Hackett: GuitarsDick Driver: Double BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsJohn Hackett: Flute- Total: 73:20Tracklisting Disc 2:Blood On The Rooftops (6:56)Gary O'Toole: Vocals, DrumsSteve Hackett: GuitarsDick Driver: Double BassPhil Mulford: BassRoger King: KeyboardsRachel Ford: CelloChristine Townsend: ViolinRob Townsend: Soprano SaxThe Return Of The Giant Hogweed (8:46)Neal Morse: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsRoine Stolt: GuitarsLee Pomeroy: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsJohn Hackett: FluteBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionEntangled (6:35)Jakko Jakszyk: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsRoger King: KeyboardsAmanda Lehmann: Harmony VocalsEleventh Earl Of Mar (7:51)Nad Sylvan: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsNick Beggs: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsRipples (8:14)Amanda Lehmann: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsPhil Mulford: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsUnquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers … (2:12)Steve Hackett: GuitarsRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsBenedict Fenner: Additional Production... In That Quiet Earth (4:47)Steve Hackett: GuitarsNick Beggs: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsRob Townsend: Soprano SaxAfterglow (4:09)John Wetton: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsPhil Mulford: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsAmanda Lehmann: Harmony VocalsA Tower Struck Down (4:45)Steve Hackett: GuitarsDick Driver: Double BassRoger King: KeyboardsRachel Ford: CelloJohn Hackett: FluteChristine Townsend: ViolinsCamino Royale (6:19)Steve Hackett: Guitars, VocalsAttila Egerhazi (Djabe): GuitarRoger King: KeyboardsNick Magnus: Keyboards; AtmospheresGary O'Toole: DrumsSzilard Banai (Djabe): DrumsTamas Barabas (Djabe): BassZoltan Kovacs (Djabe): PianoFerenc Kovacs (Djabe): TrumpetBenedict Fenner: Additional ProductionShadow Of The Hierophant (10:45)Amanda Lehmann: VocalsSteve Hackett: GuitarsSteven Wilson: GuitarNick Beggs: BassRoger King: KeyboardsGary O'Toole: DrumsRob Townsend: Soprano Sax, Flute 
    $15.00