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Kerrs Pink - Tidings CD (album) cover

TIDINGS

Kerrs Pink

 

Prog Folk

3.13 | 14 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
3 stars This veteran Norwegian prog band has a storied past with both the first self titled debut and the splendid sophomore Mellom Oss being fine prog-folk examples, led by the fluid lyrical guitar of Harald Lytomt. "Tidings" follows two adventurous and well-received releases (A Journey on the Inside and The Art of Complex Simplicity) and suggests a tad more conventional perhaps even commercial approach. The opener "Hour Glass" is pretty standard neo-tinged prog and is accessible enough for any fan but there is no real awe to wildly applaud. The lads do immediately get back to their folkish strengths on the inspirational "Tidings from the Distant Shore", a scintillating nearly 9 minute display of electric folk, with sweeping orchestral themes, delicate female vocals with male interventions, a propos marching violin, sizzling synths and a weeping guitar solo to finish the job. "Shooting Star" is a Freddy Ruud composition and thus strongly favors a variety of massed keyboards, a very deliberate piece that glows gently, set ablaze by a tortuous Lytomt lead solo, full of emotion and effect. The female backing vocals offer a soulful approach to counteract the male vocals that unfortunately grate unconvincingly. The longest cut here , "Yumi Yeda" is a welcome return to their more sophisticated style, showcasing exemplary melodies, allied with some inspired playing by all , even though the lead vocals are somewhat accented and weak. The guitar wails and weaves majestically however, providing another glimpse of how the instrumental prowess can be impeded by unconvincing voice work. "Moments in Life" conjures up strong Camel tinges with more lyrical guitar observations in a dreamy wash of keyboard colorations, again ruined by some wayward "American style funky-groovy" female vocals that plod on totally ludicrously, having little function other than to divert from the instrumental pleasure. Why? Next up, "Mystic Dream" is another near 10 minute piece that sails off at first assuredly, diving quickly into a sedate vocal segment, morphing into lung calisthenics that have no purpose and a fine solo section featuring both guitar and keys. Again, the same attributes apply, great musical parts raped by unpersuasive lead microphone work. Gratefully, the final track "Le Sable S'est EcoulÚ" is an instrumental workout (using the oft-used Martin Luther King "I have a dream" quote as well as a JFK snippet) that demonstrates the tonal and technical abilities these vets obviously possess, preferring more experimental orchestrations thus clashing wildly with the previous material. In my opinion, their weakest effort by far, please chuck the vocalists and return to more conventional folk-prog singing and all will be fine tidings from then on. 3 Pink Grains of Sand.
tszirmay | 3/5 |

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