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Reviews Written by
AndyM (England (thats in Europe, guys))

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Love's Dying Wish
Love's Dying Wish

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starbreakers Darker Side, 10 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Love's Dying Wish (Audio CD)
A much darker, soulful album than Starbreakers first album which was more of a series of familar Magnus Karlsson songs. This album has Starbreaker sounding much more mature and with very much of a band sound. Out go the guitar solos, with Karlsson preferring a more muted sound to provide a very able supporting role to Harnell's fabulous vocals. The biggest strength of this album is it's simplicity, with each song sounding like it could be easily performed live. Deep, powerful lyrics decorate moody melodies laid over strong bombastic riffs. Basically, they are just great songs that take a couple of listens to appreciate, but then never let go. An album without a weak song. A great album from a band that could have been dismissed as an amalgamated 'super group', but actually turn out to have gelled into a great band in their own right. Total classic.

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.89

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saga doing what they do best, 25 May 2006
This review is from: Trust (Audio CD)
You have to go back a long way to find a Saga album this good. 'House Of Cards' and 'Marathon' come close, but even they have their filler tracks. For the first time in a long while Saga produce an entire album of songs that are about as good as they get. For those people harking back to the early albums, well, this album is on a par. You can argue that they don't break any new ground here, but then their earlier attempts to do this never worked out so maybe its best that they stick to what they're good at. And here they certainly do that. Great musicianship and intricate arrangements are married up with catchy light hearted melodies. And there lies Saga's weakness - far too progressive for pop and too catchy for progressive they straddle painfully with a foot in each camp. If you've never heard Saga before, well, you've a lot of catching up to do, but this album might be a good place to start. If you're a fan, but wonder whether this album is another 'Silent Knight' (excellent) or a 'Pleasure And The Pain' (definite no-no) then relax. This album is one of their best.


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prog Or Pop, 17 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Picture (Audio CD)
Because of the people involved the main reason anyone is likely to investigate this album is if they are a fan of Arena (John Mitchell), It Bites(John Beck), Marillion (Pete Trewavas) or Porcupine Tree(Chis Maitland). It's true, the guitar work sounds very like Arena, there are lots of poppy, quirky It Bites moments and some parts do sound like Steve Hogarth should be singing them. But, as often happens, the child may inherit some features of its parents, but it also develops its own identity. In this case, Kino lean much more towards Pop than any of the above bands, often sounding more like Joe Jackson or Sting. The songs do have a progressive element though - usually in the solo middle sections. This is most evident in the nine minute opener which sounds a lot like Spocks Beard towards the end, lest we also forget that Trewavas was also in Transatlantic with Spock's Neal Morse. So, it's more Pop than Prog, but that doesn't mean it's rubbish. The songs are well written, catchy and with that elusive property that makes you want to play them again. In then end, like It Bites before them, Kino probably fall squarely between two stools - too prog for a pop band and too pop for prog rock. Time will tell, Kino expect to be around longer than most supergroups.

Offered by onepeecd
Price: £7.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prog Rockers turn to AOR, 2 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Power (Audio CD)
The decline of American Progressive Rock band Kansas began with the departure of lead vocalist Steve Walsh. The two subsequent albums failed to reverse the trend until finally, main song writer Kerry Livgren departed and the end seemed inevitable. Suprisingly, Walsh returned with guitar wizard Steve Morse in tow and "Power" is the result. While Livgren's songs gave Kansas their progressive feel, Walsh provided the rocky 'edge'. With Walsh now unopposed in the songwriters chair "Power" is much more AOR than prog-rock. Nevertheless, these are well crafted songs which vary from power ballad to heavy rock opener with a little dose of instrumental complexity in the guise of "Musicatto" for the old fans. Walsh is, if anything, at the peak of his vocal power and injects real intensity into the material. Morse occasionally demonstrates his blistering guitar expertise on this album, but is generally constrained by the fact that 40% of the songs on the album are ballads - although very good ones. Kansas' quest for a return to their previous commercial success was largely unrewarded by this album - although "All I Wanted" was a minor US hit. Anyone wanting a successor to "Leftoverture" and "Point Of Know Return" needed to wait a long, long time for Livgren's return and the "Somewhere To Elsewhere" album. By then the only people listening would be the forty-somethings who had been with the band all along.

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