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(76:22; Melodic Revolution Records)
It does not take much to get me confused, maybe it is my age, but I am not really sure what I have here. I can tell you it is the deluxe edition of ‘Immortal’ by Kracked Earth, released towards the end of 2019, but after that I am a little of a loss. The reason for that is the main 12 songs are all indicated as a 2019 Remix or 2019 Remaster, which makes me think they have already been made available (I can see a couple were on their 2012 album ‘Splash’, but not all). One of the bonus cuts is a demo from 1977 while others are live numbers by PTO (a forerunner of Kracked Earth?) in 2007. So let’s not bother trying to work out what is going on but instead concentrate on the music in front of us. “Everlastin’ Love” was a single released in 2016, which featured Andy Kinch (keyboards, guitars, drum programming) and Don Schiff (NS Stick, bass, viola, cello and mandolin) with Kelly Groucutt. Yes, you read that right, you may not have come across Kinch (Flip, Touch) prior to this, but Kracked Earth is very much his brainchild and on this track, he was joined by two musical heavyweights. As this is a compilation, he is the only constant, with different singers and musicians as they move through different styles. A quick look at those involved throughout the album we can also find the likes of Ric Sanders and Robin Boult, and while most of the material are Kinch originals there is also a cover in “ When The City Sleeps”, originally released by Bombadil (BJH). The real issue I have with the album, is not the number of different musicians, or the musical ability of those involved, but more in the styles being deployed. For much of the time it is fairly harmless lightweight crossover progressive rock, but “My Captor’s Heart” sounds as if it is right out of the Kenny G songbook circa 1987. It’s very clever, with a very strong performance from all involved, but it’s just not my style of music. Much of the music is just too over produced, a little too heavy on the sugar, and after a while I found myself getting a headache. I can listen to the heaviest and most out there music one can imagine, but when I listen to something like this I have real issues. I can imagine this getting a great deal of support, as fans of the likes of Westlife, Wet Wet Wet, Michael Bolton etc will find this immensely enjoyable. There is no doubt a great deal of people will thoroughly enjoy this, so if this is your style of music seek it out (profits from the vinyl edition are going towards cancer research), but it is just not for me.
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