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K2 - Book Of The Dead CD (album) cover





3.51 | 96 ratings

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Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nearly four years in the making, K2 (K squared) is well worth the wait. While being touted as the rebirth of U.K., I would call it more of a melding of Genesis,Yes, U.K. and Atlantis (Ken's former band). The lack of "over-the-top" Jobson styled keyboards keeps the disc from attaining that signature U.K. sound. It is a unque mix that I have not been able to turn off. It's one of the few discs that captures my complete attention.

Ken Jaquess assembled an all-star team to create this album. Guitar great, Allan Holdsworth, sounds relaxed and inspired in his role as lead soloist. The solos are more simple than the normal Holdsowrth fair and contain some of his most touching melodies. The late great Shaun Guerin's vocals are similar to Peter Gabriels and add a touch of Neo- Prog to the overall symphonic feel. Ryo Okumoto lends his fingers to the effort, but never really takes a dominate role. This is the only real short-coming on the disc. If Ryo had stepped up and took some commanding solos, I may have had to re-think my star rating. He does play some beautiful moog solos, BTW. Yvette Devereaux's violin takes many subtle and sinuous leads. Not the sharp, razor edged flashes of Eddie Jobson. I would have liked more trade-offs between Ms. Devereaux and Holdsworth. Jaquess takes a few bass solos, track four, "Aten," is a composed bass solo, that sound a bit like a fingerpicked acoustic guitar played only on the bass strings. Very clear and dry. Unique in a world of slapping bassists. The bass fills throughout are reminiscent of Chris Squire, adding the Yes element into the mix. The drum work of Doug Sanborn is understated and non-intrusive, just solid and professional. The subtle guitar work of John Miner is almost a mere tint of color on the sonic background.

The disc is broken down into five parts, chapters, in which the Egyptian Book of the Dead is unfolded. The concept carries throughout the entire, disc which is clocks in around 46 minutes. Chapter One: Infinite Voyage is a 23 minute epic that doesn't get bogged down with endless noodling or long spaces of ambient twiddling. Balance is the key, keep it moving. The lyrics are filled with references to faith and spirituality. Guerin's delivery catches my earstrings and keeps me focused.

Fans of Classic Prog will find this album entertaining.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


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