By Max, Nonsolo Progrock

” … I just say that if AOR music had a human form, this would have the appearance of a smile.”

The AOR genre is refined, a Hard Rock with a stylish jacket and tie that often leads us to sing along with the artist who is performing. It is enthralling, engaging but above all catchy. AOR is the acronym for Album Oriented Rock, this is to better understand the meaning of this music that sees light for the first time in the 60s in America. The songs exceeded the length of the canonical 45 rpm, becoming real concepts, among the first to open this path there were Bob Dylan and the Beatles. But it was the 70s that changed the AOR genre in an important way with groups such as Toto, Journey, Rush, Boston etc, thus changing the name of the genre to Album Oriented Radio.

The Danish singer, guitarist and drummer Michael Kratz is today one of the leading exponents, always attentive to important melodies and good taste. After four interesting albums starting from his 2012 debut titled “Cross That Line” (Sony Music) he returns today with the new “Tafkatno”.

The disc consists of ten songs and a bonus track entitled “Broken Souls” while the booklet accompanying the CD is by Aeglos Art, containing photos and texts as well as reflections by the artist himself. The band is formally a duo, Michael Kratz (vocals, guitar, drums) and Kasper Viinberg (backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, drums) but it is the large number of guests to embellish the work most, starting with Christian Warburg (Paul Young), Bruce Gaitsch (Peter Cetera-Chicago-Elton John), and Janey Clewer (Michael Bolton-Michael Sembello). But there are even more, Davide Gilardino (backing vocals), Torben Lysholm (backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass), Luca Carlomagno (guitar), Mikkel Risum (bass) and Kenneth Bremer.

The album begins with “Too Close To The Edge, an immediately pimp song that finds the wild card in that really intriguing chorus. Kratz’s class can also be seen from “The Highway”, certainly there are many deja vu, but this is the AOR and the guitar solo amply earns the piece pass enough.

Nothing is thrown away from this musical genre, just like pork in the kitchen, perfect union of styles and flavors, so here is the sought after Hard Rock mid tempo with another important solo entitled “A Way To The Future”. We also know that for the AOR the ballad is an important moment, and in fact it is not lacking thanks to “Without Your Love” and his arpeggiated acoustic guitar. “You’re The One” shows the more artistic and technical side of Michael Kratz with good arrangements and a not indifferent taste for melody. Another sound caress comes to us from “Let’s Do Something Good”, but at this point I leave it to you and your curiosity to discover the rest of the album which is always kept on good levels, I just say that if AOR music had a human form, this would have the appearance of a smile.

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