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Kiske, Michael: Past in Different Ways

Give Michael Kiske some credit for doing things his way. Since departing Helloween, the vocalist has made modern-rock albums (with his band SupaRed), slick AOR records (with Place Vendome) and vulnerable singer/songwriter music (his 2006 solo album simply titled Kiske). Past in Different Ways is another major departure: Stripped-down re-recordings of Helloween songs from Kiske's tenure in the band, including cuts from the two Keeper of the Seven Keys discs, as well as Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape.

It's a good idea on paper. After all, many artists record acoustic versions of their material. But here's the problem: Helloween's music doesn't lend itself to this kind of treatment, and Kiske's forced vocals as if he's not sure whether to sing like a head-banger or a toe-tapper make many of these 11 tunes seem a little awkward. A strings section and the strategic use of trumpet, trombone and accordion add intrigue, and Kiske (who also plays guitar) is backed by three solid musicians, but Past in Different Ways doesn't rank among Kiske's finest material. The main exception is closing track "Different Ways," a beautiful ballad penned especially for this collection that would have been right at home on Kiske.

Track Listing:
1) You Always Walk Alone
2) We Got the Right
3) I Believe
4) Longing
5) Your Turn
6) Kids of the Century
7) In the Night
8) Going Home
9) A Little Time
10) When the Sinner
11) Different Ways

Added: September 26th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Blistering Records
Hits: 3137
Language: english

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Kiske, Michael: Past in Different Ways
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-09-26 14:34:45
My Score:

Helloween unplugged? Well, sort of. Past in Different Ways is former Helloween belter Michael Kiske's latest solo album, as he dips back in time for some acoustic versions of select songs he sang with the power metal pioneers. It's all poppy and nice, acoustic guitars ringing alongside strings, horns, and Kiske's power delivery. Problem is, many of these tracks just sound out of place with arrangements of this fashion. Where things work are on the latter period material from Chameleon and Pink Bubbles Go Ape, like "When the Sinner", "Kids of the Century", and "Longing", as those tunes were more pop flavored hard rock than the earlier power metal standards like "You Always Walk Alone", "We Got the Right", and "A Little Time". Still, it's great hearing Kiske singing these tunes again no matter how you look at it, but you can tell by the inclusion of a new track called "Different Ways" that his hearts in much more mellow places these days, and this was just a way to show his fans that while he respects his legacy, don't expect a return to the land of the seven keys.

Past in Different Ways is now available domestically here in the US on Blistering Records.

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