Wim S. : The album 'Live Your Life' by Michael Kratz has been out for a few months already, but he has only reached our country now. And that is actually well planned, because now the sun is shining and everybody is enjoying a drink on a terrace, this album sounds better. On this album Michael Kratz plays classic AOR / West Coast Pop / Rock; music that needs the sun to shine.
Kratz is a drummer from the band Kandis and has a decent status, especially in his own country - Denmark. But if I see who he has managed to do a contribution for his solo album, he will be more well-known than I might think. Because it means something when people like Michael Landau and Steve Lukather, keyboard player David Garfield and Dom Brown (Duran Duran) take part on your record. And the inevitable Allesandro Del Vecchio is also there! As said, Kratz is a drummer but unfortunately he has decided to sing himself on this solo CD. And he really cannot sing. You just hear that this is someone with a boring voice. He lacks range and natural suppleness. And that's a shame, because in classical AOR music the solo vocals are of great importance. The album opens with the fine 'We All Live In This Nation', which sounds crystal clear and is further enhanced by a crazy guitar solo by Michael Landau. No less beautiful is 'This Town Is Lost Without You', in which Steve Lukather lets his strings speak. Also 'What Did I' may be heard, although the vocal shortcomings of Kratz are clear here. Then the album collapses with meaningless tracks like 'Never Take Us Alive' and 'Game of Love' (really terrible). Fortunately, 'Paradise Lost' is another song that sounds good, including a children's choir (?). 'Shade' is a crappy song again, while 'Dying Young' is a beautiful, sensitive song that would sound even more great with a good singer. The same goes for the last song 'In Between': beautiful guitars, beautiful keyboards but the voice of Kratz cannot carry such a song. All in all an album that gives me a bit of a double feeling.