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Kiske, Michael: Kiske

Michael Kiske continues to defy expectations. With Supared, he abandoned the power metal of Helloween (his most famous band) and created a modern-rock tour de force. The more recent Place Vendome project, on the other hand, smoothly melded hard rock and AOR. Kiske's first solo disc, 1996's Instant Clarity recently reissued by Frontiers Records with four bonus tracks showcased his chameleon-like vocals on songs that ranged from rock to pop to metal. Now, Kiske is even more of a departure.

This is a starkly personal singer/songwriter album, one as far removed from Keeper of the Seven Keys as you can get. Some songs even have mainstream radio appeal; I suppose that's a compliment, although some listeners who prefer their favorite artists not to evolve may find this a dull listen. Kiske seems stuck in a midtempo rut throughout much of this 11-song record, with "Knew I Would," "Hearts Are Free" and "Painted" emerging as the standout tracks. Not surprisingly, those are the ones that rock a bit more than the others. That said, "The King Of It All" (complete with strings) sounds like a modern-day Aerosmith ballad. Kiske, who also plays guitars and keyboards (backed by a drummer, a bassist and a guitar soloist), even sounds remarkably like a vulnerable Steven Tyler.

It's tough to fault a guy who sounds as assured in his musical convictions as Kiske does here. If Ritchie Blackmore can make the transformation from guitar god in Rainbow to merry minstrel in Blackmore's Night, surely Michael Kiske can pursue his own singer/songwriter aspirations.

Track Listing:
1) Fed By Stones
2) All-Solutions
3) Knew I Would
4) Kings Fall
5) Hearts Are Free
6) The King Of It All
7) Sing My Song
8) Silently Craving
9) Truly
10) Painted
11) Sad As The World

Added: June 12th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 4713
Language: english

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