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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Picture: Limited Edition
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£39.57+ £4.42 shipping

on 3 March 2005
It was at about the time when Losers Day Parade reached its epic climax that a thought crossed my mind. How can Kino possibly be this good? Considering this is only the first track on the album, such a revelation wasn't half bad. I'd been waiting for this album for a long time, being a big fan of singer and guitarist John Mitchell's other band, The Urbane, but I was never expecting them to be as good as this. As a band made up of members of prog bands (It Bites, Marillion, Arena), there are certainly prog influences in the album, particularly evident in parts of Losers Day Parade, but the music is quintessentially rock and as such could appeal to just about anybody. All the members of the band touted as a "supergroup" have most certainly proved themselves worthy of being described in such glowing terms, particularly Mitchell, whose guitar playing is once again immaculate and whose powerful vocals are full of emotion and expression. Highlights of the album (which are extremely hard to select as the overall quality of the album is extraordinarily high) include Losers Day Parade, a constantly changing song with powerful lyrics and a joy to listen to the whole way through, the beautiful, very much rock songs Letting Go and Telling Me To Tell You, both of which have great melodies and gorgeous singing from Mitchell, the quiet and quite prog ballad-esque All You See and the emotional Picture, a gentle and mournful conclusion to fifty five minutes of just about the best music you'll ever hear. I would strongly recommend this album to any fan of rock or prog music of any sort and urge you not to miss out on a true masterpiece. As for Kino's future, on the basis of this album, the sky is the limit.
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on 17 August 2005
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.
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on 19 November 2005
One more prog super group, with members from Arena, Marillion, Porcupine Tree and It Bites, with the main difference that all these band members are from England. The pillars of Kino are keyboard player John Beck (It Bites) and vocalist/guitarist John Mitchell (Arena).
Picture, the first album produced by this group is very impressive, leaning slightly to the heavier side of neo-progressive at times, particularly with the impressive (Spock's Beardish) opening track, Losers Day Parade. Most of the rest of the album sounds more like post Fish Marillion with some Arena and Genesis influences and with plenty of good hooks and melodies throughout. Quieter moments are usually held together by Beck's keyboards and Mitchell's impressive and broad-ranged vocals.

The fact that this is not a full-blown progressive album may disappoint some listeners. But for what it is — a rock album with progressive influences - it is very good indeed. Highly recommended.
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on 25 January 2008
hey this is bloody marvelous - you ought to have it! John Mitchell is an outtasight guitar player - and the band fuse heavy rock with a beatle-esque pop sensibility - if it doesn't get you dancing then you're made of different stuff than me :-)
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on 27 August 2009
Now I have heard the new Tall Ships album by reformed It Bites, this sounds like a dry run.

Full of strong retro (80's) poppy prog but with a 00's twist, excellently played and sung.

Hats off again to John Mitchell for once again breathing new life into prog.

Highly recommended (and don't be put off by the title Kino, it's not a german prog group !
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on 27 February 2005
Kino is the new band from "The Urbane"'s frontman John Mitchell. Although sharing some common ground with the two albums by "The Urbane" this is something very different. For those unfamilar with them, "The Urbane" are a modern style rock band in the early "Foo Fighters" and "Radiohead" theme, although Kino are a rock band as well their music seems to be more "rounded". There are so many different styles of music on this album that it is hard to describe them all. For instance, the classic opener "Loser's day parade" (I think it's about the emptiness of life on the rat race) starts with catchy agressive guitar riffs, before going into acapello style funky singing. This then returns to the original riff but this time with a guitar and then a keyboard solo over the original sound. After another bout of solo singing the song ends in a rousing repeated lyric followed by a soaring guitar solo. Most of the songs are generally "Rock" in style although each differs greatly in its style, this album is likely to draw great longevity from this. The final song is something special, a touching piano ballad which would make a good single. In conclusion this is an excellent thinking man's rock band, it's complicated yet still catchy, aggressive, and reflective in equal measure. One thing to remember, "Kino" has been touted as a "super group" due to the inclusion of the bassist from "Marillion", the keyboardist from "It-Bites" and the ex-drummer from "Porcupine tree", and the guitarist from "Arena" and "The Urbane". Fans of these bands may well buy this album for the names alone, however if you do not consider yourself a fan of these bands DO NOT WORRY, this music is strong enough to stand alone. The CD ships with an excellent DVD of a live performance in Cologne. An excellent inclusion in an already excellent package!
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on 16 July 2005
Being an It Bites fan, I have been slightly frustrated by the lack of an LP/tour since they reformed 2 years ago. Having kept an eye on their website, I knew about Kino but didn't really take much notice. Having recently returned from overseas, I started to take an interest again in music. I decided to buy this LP on the back of It Bites and Marillion.
Firstly, can I say that this is probably the It Bites Lp that never was.......it's brilliant. Melodic, catchy with a bit of prog thrown in. If you are into the pop/rock side of prog music, this is the LP for you.
Since I brought the LP I can't stop playing it, much to the disgust of my wife. Losers day parade starts the LP off in excellent style but Leave a light on and letting go are just superb. After a couple of good tracks, Kino let rip with 3 greats; Perfect Tense and Room for Two are just stunning but they pull out all the stops on Holding On. This track is just excellent and worth the £10 alone. CD, MP3 player, Computer, this track is on them all. If you don't believe anything that I've written so far, please listen to this track and I dare you not to get hooked by it especially after the second chorus.
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on 1 March 2016
A most underrated album. Re-bought as my original one was stolen..!
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on 21 February 2008
There is nothing progressive about this music. There are however, a million prog cliches that are churned out one after the other just for the sake of it, but unfortunately it's all been done and done and done before much better. You know the kind of thing, quiet bit, loud bit (except the quiet bits are loud as well) into bit that sound like it's being played on an old record player into the riff in an odd time signature, pretty melody with some harmonies. It's all quite laughable and juvenile stuff. I'm not an It Bites fan boy but if your expecting anything close to that finely crafted pop/prog you will be sorely disappointed.
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