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Kenso - Kenso III CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.81 | 59 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

One f the longest living group from Japan, Kenso started in the mid-80's along with many of their ultra-symphonic neo like Bellaphon, Gerrard and a few more, with only By Kyo Ran sounding a bit less symphonic and crunchier and later Ars Nova sounding more adventurous. As usual with all of these Japanese second wave groups, Kenso was extremely derivative, forgetting completely their predecessor 70's groundbreaking works (Far Out Family Band, for ex or Yamashta) and concentrated on imitating the 70's Camel or Genesis with the catastrophic instruments of those mid-80's. While I find Kenso's music on this album boring and sometimes limit-laughable, we must think that it hasn't aged well and it is a product of its time.

What to say of the music except that it sounds completely derivative, ultra-symphonic, completely un-original and pretentious. And extremely boring as well. At least for today's ears?. But I guess in the mid-80's, there wasn't much else to lay your ears upon so I can understand some people might regard this highly, because there was nothing else but Japan and the few UK neo-prog groups to give this type of symphonic rock music, Kenso is fronted by a double synth attack and backed by a rarely upfront guitarist, with no vocals (or few, thankfully), an odd flute (Celebration) and an oboe (Nostalghia) and much of their compositions sound all the same bar two slower numbers with a reduced line-up. Don't get me wrong, these five guys are all good musicians and all, but this lacks power and guts?. It's way too slick, over-produced and can lead to understand why some smirk when listening to this, because it's got no life.

Hardly anything even remotely close to essential (or good, but that's IMHO), Kenso's early albums are generally best avoided unless you like a wimp prog of the lean years. And don't just take my word for it?. My trusted colleague reviewer Cesar says that this is their most energetic album so far?. Although I understand this album is generally well regarded by historical fans and that you'll be tempted to acquire it?.. please don't blame me afterwards, I warned you.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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