Leon : Our former colleague Sander had already said it during his review for the, in 2005 released, album ‘Picture’, Kino can truly be named as a super group in the progressive rock world. John Mitchell (Arena), Pete Trawavas (Marillion), and John Beck (It Bites) are reunited once again, and Chris Maitland (ex-Porcupine Tree) is replaced by Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson). Since ‘Picture’ the group hasn’t been together but apparently they felt like picking things up again last year. In a record time the songs were written and the new album was recorded that they’ve called ‘Radio Voltaire’.
With a super group it doesn’t always have to mean that the music automatically is good, luckily this is not the case with Kino. I must confess that I didn’t know the group before I played the album, so it was a really nice surprise! Immediately I was impressed with the vocals of Mitchell, I know him from Arena but still he never seizes to stop impressing me with his vocals. The instrumentation is spot on too, Trewavas is a great bass player and is very convincing in his playing, and also Blundell proves to be a top-notch musician. Trewavas and Mitchell are responsible for the songwriting and, again, don’t disappoint, the songs are at least as good as on their last album. It’s clear that the melody was considered very important, sometimes it’s a bit too sweet and soft for my taste, for example with ‘Idlewild’, but I can’t deny that the songs are well written. The production is also done really well.
Conclusion? A very nice progressive rock record that is very accessible to the mainstream audience. Fans of Kino, but also of Arena and Frost*, will probably like the album a lot. I would at least recommend them to take a listen. Hopefully the next album won’t take thirteen years to make!