A Tab in the Ocean [Deluxe Edition]

by: Nektar

A Tab in the Ocean mirrors Nektar's first album, but only to a certain degree. While their sound still basks in lengthy keyboard passages and fantastic lyrics, the psychedelia is traded in for a more directional and established approach, with longer tracks and a tighter progressive structure. There's an obvious cohesiveness between the guitar and keyboard tandem, with an attempt at shaping a concept through the album's five tracks. Both the title track and the 19 minutes of "King of Twilight" are Tab in the Ocean's best examples of Nektar's maturing process, with sleek instrumental runs that taper off into the lyrics as opposed to a more improvised feel that surrounded their last album. A stronger influence can be felt on Roye Albrighton's guitar playing, which is more structural, and Derek Moore's basslines are sturdier and more expressive. Although it's hard to ignore the slight rock feel of the album in parts, the five songs as a whole harbor the band's surreal mien of progressive rock. Even the lyrics sound as if more concern has been given to them, coming off as an equal part of Nektar's music without drifting away into obscurity. Best of all, A Tab in the Ocean completes the task of holding the interest of the fans that enjoyed their debut album. ~ Mike DeGagne

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