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North Star

23 customer reviews

Price: £13.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Mar. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Curved Air Records
  • ASIN: B00I4581OU
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,294 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Stay Human 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Time Games 6:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Puppets 5:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Images and Signs 6:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Interplay 5:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Spider 4:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Magnetism 6:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Colder Than a Rose in Snow 4:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Spirits in the Material World 4:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Old Town News 5:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Situations 6:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Chasing Cars 4:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Young Mother 6:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Across the Universe 4:20£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Curved Air features original members SONJA KRISTINA and FLORIAN PILKINGTON-MIKSA with classic era guitarist KIRBY GREGORY. They are joined by violinist Paul Sax, keyboardist Robert Norton and bass player Chris Harris. The full length CD features a mixture of re-recordings, cover songs and seven new original songs, all housed in a lavish digi-pack.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo27 on 28 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's probably fair to surmise that few would have seen this one coming, after a hiatus of almost 40 years. One of the pioneers of prog rock, Curved Air only ever achieved one (unrepresentative) hit way back in 1971 and despite critical acclaim never enjoyed the widespread success that their distinctive talent undoubtedly deserved.

Of the original band only singer Sonja Kristina and drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa remain on board, along with original-era guitarist Kirby Gregory. The new line-up delivers seven new songs alongside re-interpretations of three old ones, a re-working of "Colder Than A Rose In Snow" from Kristina's first solo album and covers of songs by The Police, Snow Patrol and the Beatles.

Complex, varied, satisfying and often exhilarating, 'North Star' marks a successful if wholly unexpected return. Kristina's once sensational voice still holds up pretty well after all this time, the increased vibrato now making her sound, at times, uncannily like Joni Mitchell.

"Time Games", "Images and Signs", "Old Town News" and the jazz-fusion instrumental "Spider" are particularly memorable. Of the covers, "Spirits In The Material World" and "Across The Universe" are surprisingly effective with only Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" failing to fully ignite.

An album that is in danger of giving prog rock a good name.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By BigKeef on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
WITHOUT ANY DOUBT THIS IS THE ALBUM FANS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR, without any real expectation of our wishes ever coming true, since, ...well, since Midnight Wire at the very least, and probably for many more of us, since Air Cut, or even Phantasmagoria. Yes, it is that good; utterly fantastic in fact! ...And yet still I have to say, "but..."

To re-cap; their swan-song '70s album Airborne was something of a disappointment to the vast majority of fans. Despite having a few 'nice' songs and some good playing on it, it was generally well below par, under far too much pressure from both the industry and the era, to be something more commercial than Curved Air were ever intended, designed or equipped to be. Those pressures had already been evident on Midnight Wire, and possibly even earlier, alongside the loss of original or core members. However, for me, both Air Cut & Midnight Wire managed to retain strong identities of their own, albeit with something of an evolving sound each time. They retained sufficient artistic links to the original band's first three classic albums, rather than making too many concessions to the changes or the times.

The late '70s were not good for progressive rock, progressive thinking, skilled musicianship, or music that could be appreciated as art. Many bands bowed to the commercial pressures to dumb-down, and thus went under, proving that the 'suits' applying the pressure didn't actually have a clue. (No surprises there!) They steered, even forced, many previously successful bands away from their existing fan base without any genuine hope of their picking up a new one. A very sorry state of affairs, in which the 'industry' crushed art in it's stranglehold, only now counteracted in part via the freedom offered by the internet.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Thomas Thatcher on 24 April 2014
Format: Audio CD
I'm really very very impressed with this. It's far too good to be a last hurrah from a long-forgotten band, and is genuinely exciting and creative. Sonja and Florian are still there, with some absolutely ace playing from all the band. Paul Sax has a pretty frightening job following Darryl Way and Eddie Jobson, but he stands up loud and proud. Paul's a terrific player, also known for his busking and for other projects with Sonja. Kirby from the Air Cut incarnation easily maintains his fluid rocky style and Chris Harris and Robert Norton on bass and kit are both accomplished in the extreme. This is also a mix of music with some intriguing covers, and Soja gets the notes as well as ever.

Florian deserves a page on his own: he's a truly original and powerful drummer. He's also a deadly timekeeper and he is here.

As somebody else said in another review, this really is in danger of giving prog. a good name.

Seeing them live on Saturday 26th April and can't wait.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Smith on 15 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
I've not given up on North Star but my persevering with understanding it as a complete album is testing me. There are moments throughout the album that really trigger off great pleasure as being very well connected with the jazzy inspired cosmic touch of the first two or three Air LPs, but I find myself wanting to hear the original thing and before I can get through the whole of North Star I'm needing to play What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up, Stretch, Blind Man, Young Mother, Piece Of Mind etc etc I'm not impressed by the new versions of old songs and covers, they do absolutely nothing for me, and worst of all Colder Than A Rose which generally never fails to take me back to the Sonja solo acoustic gigs in the late 70s (magical memories of the Half Moon with Sonja and Steve Byrd), but this is just a completely empty version - I'd have much preferred Devil May Care re-visited. However, it's great to hear Kirby again, Aircut was just the most dynamic and energetic album Curved Air recorded and is all the better for being a one-off (ignoring the cast-offs of Love Child), but he graces North Star with some beautiful fluid playing. I'm enjoying Time Games, Spider and Old Town News, but I've dropped the new versions of old songs, and the covers, in my playlist and endeavouring to enjoy the new stuff as a shortened album, and that works better for me. I may get there, it could all fall into place soon, but this is my review after 6 or 7 listens to the CD.
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