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Kerrs Pink - Art Of Complex Simplicity CD (album) cover


Kerrs Pink

Prog Folk

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4 stars A beautiful album. Inspirated in the Nordic folk, KERRS PINK made delicious and delicated melodies creating bucolic ambiences, through very well done acoustic songs or -sometimes- more energetic soundscapes (never bombastic).

Along thirteen tracks, this stuff remains always brilliant. Cello, viola and flutes were added to traditional prog keyboards, guitars and drums, providing more than an hour of harmonic and sweet music, a sort of first-line progressive folk.

Quality is really homogeneous. From short folky ballads ("Lady of the Lake") to incredibly beautiful themes ("A Final Greeting"), and even close to new age numbers ("Guiding Light" and "Celestial Heavens"), is very difficult to say "OK, this is the highlight". Maybe, the four minutes instrumental "The Hero of the Chivalry" is the best.

"Art of Complex Simplicity" is an excellent album, far from the nostalgic or melancholic Scandinavian style but equally full of feelings. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#4248)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars No, I'd rather call it "Art of Simple Simplicity" music-wise. Yes, it's nice (too nice), sweet (too sweet), simple (too simple) folk-influenced pastoral music. Beautiful folkish melodies and highly professional musical performance, production is very good as well, and booklet is a piece of art. This is very well made easy-(very easy)-listening. Sure from time to time you just need this kind of music to sit back and relax. It is very good, but for sure not any essential for a prog-music amateur.
Report this review (#37049)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars A very decent album from a very good prog folk band. Kerrs Pink was an eighties band that really doesn’t seem to have had a long active history, and according to the liner notes this was actually supposed to be a solo album for founding member Harald Lytomt. But he enlisted friend Jan Håkon Skarpsno to pen lyrics for several tracks and eventually decided to release this under the name Kerrs Pink, although only a couple of former members actually play on the record.

Camel fans will love the easy-going, mild approach in most of these compositions. Lytomt crafts rich musical works that blend Norwegian folk sensibilities with some modern instrumentation (guitars, drums, digital keyboards). The music is enriched as well with tin whistles, cello, flute and organ. The result is a truly folksy sound that avoids the all too common trap of becoming tepid strumming and crooning. This is a modern sound but with plenty of the trappings of classic progressive sounds.

Eight of the thirteen tracks here are instrumentals, and even the songs with vocals mostly emphasize the instrumental aspects of the music. The themes are pastoral, often speaking of tender relationships, memories and longing. Not really music for a wild Friday night, but perfect for sitting around the house watching the buds of spring popping up on the plants on your garden. I suppose I’ve revealed what I’m doing at the moment.

All the tracks here meld together well, with a few standing out just a bit for different reasons. “Linger a Bit Longer” mixes fat C3 organ with solid electric guitar and piano chords, while the ten-minute long “Joie de Vivre” is a classic-styled progressive mini-epic with endless transitions and soaring keyboard passages. The opening “Welcome to the Greenest Forest” is a great introduction of soothing keyboards sharpened with wailing guitar that sets the mood for the rest of the tunes perfectly. All in all this is a worthwhile investment of time for the calming effect it has after a rather strenuous week of toil and the complexities of life. Hence the title I suppose.

I don’t have any other recordings from the band, although it might not make much difference since this doesn’t seem to be in the vein of the group’s earlier work. But as an elaborated solo recording (which it what it seems to be), this is a well-crafted effort that should appeal to most prog folk fans and probably a lot of lovers of classically-styled prog music in general. Four stars might be just a bit of a stretch but I’ve found this to be a soothing repose over the past few weeks I’ve played it since picking it up, so I’ll go with that for now. Well recommended to like-minded souls.


Report this review (#165730)
Posted Friday, April 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars As with earlier work like MELLOM OSS, "Art of Complex Simplicity" is heavy on the instrumentals and applies a Scandinavian folk filter to a CAMEL lens, but several changes are made. For one, vocals are in English, and quite well sung. And while the preponderance of pastoral instrumentals again makes tracks blend into each other in an amorphous if happy clump, this album features several standouts that rank up there with the best in the sub genre.

The most impressive of the wordless cuts is probably "Guiding Light", a brief but powerful yet peaceful call to arms. The melody is arresting, partly due to an odd familiarity that I can't place. The lengthier "Joie to Vivre" captures this theme among others and should appeal to the more demanding listeners among us, not that it is unusually complex by any means. "Never Land" is the prime representation of the group's stock in trade - a relaxing piece with delicate guitars and floating female voices but enough oomph in the bass and drums to keep you awake. But the two must-haves are "Lady of the Lake", a lovely song that is more like STRAWBS than Strawbs, a bang-on take on their classic "Glimpse of Heaven"; and the even more appealing "Linger a Bit Longer", a melodic tour de force bolstered by keyboards and lead guitars played with abandon yet in the service of the tune.

If you are a symphonic fan leaning in the folk direction or vice versa, then make a virtual sprint to your local retailer for this atmospheric delight. Guaranteed to simplify your life without giving you a complex.

Report this review (#285559)
Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Review Permalink

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