Nektar’s 1973 release isn’t widely regarded as their masterpiece, but it should be. Predecessors like Journey To The Centre Of The Eye and A Tab In The Ocean were more experimental and out-there as progressive space-rock visions, but this concept work is where they fused such daring with delicious melodies and deft rhythmic shifts into a glowingly charming whole.
It went Top 20 in the US, which is surprising given most hit albums weren’t about aliens called Bluebird discussing war and environmental issues with a blind Earth boy before divining infinite wisdom.
The music retains invention and diversity, there’s a friction-free flow to this, where every switch in style or tempo seems inevitable, every choice the perfectly right one. With Taff Freeman harmonising, Roye Albrighton has never sung better, and once the penny drops it’s so accessible you can sing along with every melancholy refrain.
Nektar have a new time-obsessed album, but you can mess with the elastic fabric of linearity by making this one of your must-listens for 2013. It’s every bit as engaging, elevated and genre-transcending as it did the day it was born.