TAFKATNO review by Melodic.net2023-01-23T15:10:53+01:00

By Ola Gränshagen,

” … If I’d go through all releases for 2021 and recommend five of them – this album is absolutely on that list. Get it!”

Once I had an amazing wow experience, and it was when listening to the self-titled Kurt Howell album for the first time. The first song was great, the second song was great… And it continued that way. Same thing here with Danish artist Michael Kratz’ album, although not exactly the same style of music. Still, enough of AOR, pop and cool hi-tech spices to be something for many readers here…

The moment I heard the first song ”Too Close To The Edge” I noted there was something special here. The arrangements, the melodies and the production was me. Michael Kratz (or even Michael Krätz) has been around since the 80’s in various genres and this is his 3rd full length solo album, strangely entitled Tafkatno.

If you’re still not convinced, how about lots of Nik Kershaw influences, a voice somewhere close to Holly Johnson and songs to kill for? Yeah, I am not exaggerating! The production is simply great too, made by Kasper Viinberg (except ”How Can A Man”, by Torben Lysholm). All songs except two are penned down by Viinberg and Kratz!

My goodness, the pop tune ”Let’s Do Something Good” could have been on a Ronan Keating album but is even better (yes, I have a weak spot for the Keating songs). Even when Michael gives us a soft semi-ballad like ”Someday” it has awesome twists that lifts it far from an ordinary ballad. And hear the amazing guitar solos in ”Everlasting Lies”! The song is totally and insanely good! It tip-toes through various genres with an almost hard rocking verse, a moodful and soft pre-chorus that emanates in a magic chorus. It is followed by one of the best tunes of this magic album ”How Can A Man” with tons of cool Kershaw moves. Topped by another great 80’s tinged guitar solo it is a winner.

I would have wanted the label to have included a credit list song by song in the booklet, actually. We have a fine list of players here, but it is not mentioned on which songs they participate. But some clues are found! ”Let’s Do Something Good”is written by Bruce Gaitsch and Dennis Morgan, so the mentioning of Bruce in the list of guitar players and his wife Janey Clewer among the backing vocalists suggests they played on this song.

I’ve mentioned Lysholm (guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals) and Viinberg (guitars, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals) and the list of great musicians also includes Christian Warburg (guitars), Luca Carlomagno (guitar), Mikkel Risum (bass), and Davide Gilardino (backing vocals).

If I’d go through all releases for 2021 and recommend five of them – this album is absolutely on that list. Get it!

TAFKATNO review by Metal.it2023-01-23T15:11:11+01:00

By Marco Aimasso,

Behind the enigmatic title “TAFKATNO” hides a jewel of velvety and refined rock, full of extraordinarily inspired songs, meticulously constructed and beautifully performed.

The review of this new work by Michael Kratz could also end here, but I believe it is necessary (and not only to satisfy my well-known disclosure need …) to add some further elements especially for the benefit of those who have not guilty noticed the beauty of the previous “Live your life” and “risks” to miss another unassailable collection of sophisticated and exciting notes, imbued with charm and sensitivity, in which the taste for arrangements is nothing less than exemplary.

Speaking of “genre”, let’s say that the Dane is a master in mixing AOR, techno-pop and progressive glimpses, and if you need concrete references instead, the quote from Toto, Chicago, Ambrosia and Level 42 can be functional to provide general indications, without, however, exhausting the content of the work with a sterile rereading of these tutelary deities.

The truth is that in “TAFKATNO” there is not a single song that is not very effective from an emotional point of view or vaguely accused of anonymity, and this result is achieved only thanks to the enormous talent and strong culture of a musician, singer and composer. capable of touching the strings of the soul through compelling melodies and always heard interpretations.

Helped by Kasper Viinberg and the usual plethora of illustrious guests (Christian Warburg, Bruce Gaitsch, Torben Lysholm, Janey Clewer and “our” Davide Gilardino and Luca Carlomagno, of Mindfeels), Michael marks the opera program with his intense voice, mature and peculiar, perfect for supporting eleven communicative moments of competent and sumptuous easy listening, never annoyingly sweetened.

In this way, if it is not the burning shock of the riffs that ignites the senses, it is the enticing rhythms, the soft electricity and the inviting harmonic constructions that achieve the fundamental result, not transmitting on any occasion, I repeat, the feeling of excessive predictability or abulia.

In short, it is impossible not to be conquered by the elegant pop-anthem “Too close to the edge”, by the bewitching and pulsating sonic chiaroscuro of “The highway” or by “A way to the future” that plagiarizes the bystander and envelops him in a comforting cocoon made of prog, fusion and R&B.

“Without your love” (truly fabulous in its sonic ups and downs), “Let’s do something good” and “Someday” are ballads of crystalline expressiveness that only the most “uncompromising” and superficial rockers will be able to deny, while I am convinced that inspiration and the irresistible nocturnal mood of “You’re the one” will be appreciated by all music lovers without “blinders”, like “Everlasting lies”, a quick demonstration of technique, imagination and feeling.

Another slow-number called “10 minutes” (perhaps the least successful of the lot, actually …), before the last two sought-after combinations of rhythm and melody present in the program, “How can a man” and the bonus track ” Broken souls ”, highly engaging in its evocative games between light and twilight.

“TAFKATNO” is therefore an excellent example of what we would once have called “cultured radio rock” and all that remains is to recommend Michael Kratz to all those for whom this definition still is meaningful.

Read full review:

TAFKATNO review by MelodicRock.it2023-01-23T15:11:36+01:00

By Denis Abello,

The Danish Michael Kratz is back, who thanks to the good success of his debut album Live Your Life, is playing an encore with this album with the unpronounceable title TAFKATNO … and let’s say it right away and get rid of this tooth, but what the @@ does it mean TAFKATNO ???

I spent quite a few nights trying to give a more or less plausible meaning to this absurd name only to discover that it is simply the acronym of “The Album Formerly Known As The Next One” … nothing … Kratz I Love it, even if the blows the merit of the name in this case would be attributed to a certain Jørgen Kleon Jeppesen!

Thus revealed the mystery that kept us awake for nights and nights we can at least say that despite a name like this everything else that Kratz had given us good with his first solo work here is amply confirmed and perhaps even better packaged.

The troop that brought the first album into port remains firmly on the ship and therefore in addition to Kratz we find here his right shoulder Kasper Viinberg (mixing, multi-instrumentalist of the album and co-author of several songs) and behind in the control room our own Burning Minds / Art of Melody Music to which are added a series of high level artists such as Christian Warburg (Paul Young), Bruce Gaitsch (King Of Hearts, Madonna, Peter Cetera, Chicago, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Lionville), Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell, Acacia Avenue), Davide Gilardino & Luca Carlomagno (Mindfeels) and Janey Clewer (Peter Cetera, Bill Champlin, Michael Bolton, Michael Sembello among others).

Let’s clarify another thing before starting to analyze the songs on the disc, even Kratz’s voice is still there to make a good appearance (and God forbid!). If you have known the first album you know what I mean and if you missed it I will try to explain it to you. That Kratz certainly have a particular voice to say the least, which does not allow half measures, either you love it or you hate it, and I love it thanks to that absolutely characteristic and unique trait of its own in this genre!

… And speaking of notes? Don’t worry here too, if you appreciated the Danish’s first work, feel free to breathe a good sigh of relief because the shots fired by this TAFKATNO aim straight into the same AOR / Westcoast territory from the intimist trait of Live your Life, and indeed, in some respects this TAFTKANO is also better balanced and more consistent in its gait than the debut with a Kratz that offers a cleaner and more homogeneous songwriting, but always strong with splendid and well-kept arrangements as per his habit.

The particular Too Close To The Edge with its nanannananananow introduces us again to the imaginative musical world of Kratz. Stylistic choices that are never banal and of a certain level, attention to detail and quality production raise the bar. There are no pieces that deserve the “skip” in this work but certainly the slower songs of the lot with the splendid and intimate Without your love should be mentioned as highlights, graced by an interlude in pure style of the latest Toto, the other slow Let’s Do Something Good who enjoys an arrangement and an acoustic guitar in the background from goosebumps and finally the grace to the limit of pop of 10 minutes (00:37 – 00:47). Also noteworthy and worthy of a note in itself what I found to be the most radio song of the lot, How Can a Man.

What to say in conclusion, on the second lap Michael Kratz still amazes, and fortunately not only for the absurdity of the name of the album, but above all for the confirmation of a mature artist and a guarantee for those looking for that westcoast soiled with AOR chromed and refined. A beautiful evening album with a glass of wine in front of you, I recommend the good one … and you decide whether alone or in company, this album will be the perfect companion in the first case and a delicate friend in the second! Have a good listening!

TAFKATNO review by Giornalemetal.it2023-01-23T15:11:54+01:00


Michael Kratz is a Danish artist with a great and long experience in the melodic rock sector.

After having released two works of great depth such as Live Your Life, great, superb studio work and the excellent live album Live Your Live, this character was expected at the gate because the expectations had become really high regarding the release of the new Tafkatno, happened just in these days.

Well, we can say that starting to listen to the new songs, the quality of the compositions has not changed at all, remaining on a very high range that probably few are able to keep today. One realizes what we have already written with the initial and exquisitely melodic Too Close To The Edge, a song with enormous potential even on the radio, where the melodies contained in it adapt to wonder even on good and old as well as dear Radio frequencies.

Captivating and roaring the “up-tempo” The Highway, which shows us a Michael Kratz in star form. The innate ability of the great artists in this case who deal with melodic rock is also to be able to create different songs from the previous ones but with an unchanged velvety and elegant atmosphere.

Take for example a great class soft rock song like A Way To The Future and you will probably understand the words written above. The more intimate and sensitive side of Kratz comes out with one of the most beautiful songs on the album, Without Your Love, where you are totally immersed in his world, five minutes and twenty of pure melodic class.
The sound carpet is quite varied, always keeping in mind the elegance and composure factor that has always distinguished this wonderful artist from Denmark.

A spectacular production then makes this Tafkatno an exceptional work from all points of view, because you can fully enjoy all the notes present in the eleven songs inside. Really impressive performance also for all the musicians involved in this project who next to Michael form something truly beautiful and unique.

How to resist the pathos Let’s Do Something Good, which makes everyone dream thanks also to Kratz’s particularly melodic and grandiose voice. We do not want and we do not find terms of comparison with his other colleagues because his voice is unique.

What we can say to all lovers of good music is to throw themselves headlong into one of the most complete and beautiful Melodic Rock albums of recent years. Eleven jewels of pure and uncontaminated melodic rock to always keep at hand.

TAFKATNO review by MetalMania Magazine2023-01-23T15:12:10+01:00

By MetalMania Magazine

TAFKATNO is a cool album full of good songs, which they will definitely not play on BEST FM, which is the greatest compliment I am capable of.

I like music that goes beyond classical ideas and it’s hard to put it exactly in any style. Danish musician Michael Kratz makes such music – unique, exceptional and interesting. He is an artist who has won several awards in his homeland for his work.

After a great response from his album Live your life (2018), this westcoast master finally released the novelty TAFKATNO on September 24, 2021. He collaborated with a number of guests. For example: Christian Warburg (Paul Young), Bruce Gaitsch (King Of Hearts, Madonna, Peter Cetera, Chicago, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Lionville), Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell, Acacia Avenue and others)

If you want to know the meaning of the name, don’t look in dictionaries. It is short for “The album formerly known as the next one”. Did you laugh too?

Ten songs and one bonus contain a nice mix of music. The author certainly won’t deny the influence of pop, but it doesn’t hurt the music. The songs are fun, catchy and Michael’s voice has the right soulful drive. You can feel the wonderful joy of music from every tone.

There are good melodies, nice guitar beats and interesting arrangements. The album clearly has something to say to every person who likes quality and does not need to have things exactly boxed.

TAFKATNO is a cool album full of good songs, which they will definitely not play on BEST FM, which is the greatest compliment I am capable of.

Read full review:

TAFKATNO review by Nonsolo Progrock2023-01-23T15:12:28+01:00

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.

Read full review:

TAFKATNO review by Metalhead.it2023-01-23T15:12:45+01:00


Music for certain specific times of the day, of the week. Of life itself.

The new album by Danish westcoast artist Michael Kratz envelops the atmosphere with sensuality and provocation: AOR with a certain refinement, sophisticated Westcoast …

“Tafkatno” is not the record that you blast off at a beach or pool party. “Tafkatno” is not the record you play as you hit the accelerator along that endless highway. “Tafkatno” is an album of refined, refined, intimate, profound music. More suited to the intimate evening than the degenerate party. More for soft lighting and high-quality drinks than for the rough pub without unnecessary civil rules.

A deep album full of guests, such as Christian Warburg (Paul Young), Bruce Gaitsch (Madonna, Chicago, Elton John, Joe Cocker, etc.), a melodic, soft, evocative, emotional, engaging album, filled with sublime melody. Solo artist who comes out of the Danish Kandis and who manages to give strong emotions, refined music, without borders within that sound territory that characterizes him.

From music to artwork, Michael is able to express himself at 360 ° with another album of real music, of real passion, of rock that knows how to go further, a rock that if spread properly could dominate any international radio, any world playlist.

If you love Bruce, the Stones or any other AOR or soft rock artist, then maybe with Michael Kratz you could find a new priceless treasure!

TAFKATNO is released by Art Of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group.

TAFKATNO review by ProgressivamenteBlog2023-01-23T15:13:02+01:00

By Louis Cattaneo, ProgressivamenteBlog

The impeccable textures of this Tafkatno fascinate from the first listening for the suggestive mood they are imbued with, confirming the goodness of a truly convincing project.

Released in 2021, Tafkatno followed Live your life from 2018, an album that Michael Kratz (vocals and songwriting), former drummer of Kandis, had published for our local Art of Melodic Music.

The fruitful collaboration also marks the step of the Dane’s latest effort, once again imbued with AOR, hard and West Coast, a brilliant result recorded together with a series of thick musicians, imbued with pop melodies set in a rock context with a radio.

The care for the arrangement and a certain compositional taste emerge in songs such as Without your love and You’re the one, but it is as a whole that Kratz’s talent emerges in giving a certain pathos to his compositions, also thanks to the various lines ups that follow one another along the 50 minutes of the album, played wonderfully well by elements perfectly placed in the context in which Michael moves.

The impeccable textures of this Tafkatno fascinate from the first listening for the suggestive mood they are imbued with, confirming the goodness of a truly convincing project.

Read full review:

TAFKATNO review by Via Nocturna2023-01-23T15:13:20+01:00

By Via Nocturna

Once again Michael Kratz teamed up with Kasper Viinberg and a host of guests to create another nice dose of melodic rock/AOR/westcoast.

And if Live Your Life, from 2018, had already left good indications, this TAFKATNO (means something like The Formely Known As The Next One Album) clearly and consistently takes a step forward.
Kratz is not so measured in risking entering other places and that only benefits him.
So, among many good melodies of an essentially soft rock, you can feel the strength of a brave rockball with a very hard beat in Everlasting Love. And let’s Do Something Good should not be forgotten either, which incorporates an exciting gospel vibe.
By the way, a reference to those great knits that are You’re The One and A Way To The Future, this one with an unusual orientation in this genre. Finally, a word for a set of beautiful acoustic landscapes.
TAFKATNO review by TuttoRock.com2023-01-23T15:13:38+01:00

By Saints Libra,

Micheal Kratz, Danish musician of great class and taste, returns to delight our ears three years after his latest opera Dragging me outside made with the collaboration of our own Mindfeels and published by Art of Melody, of the Italian group Burning Minds.

As he himself had the opportunity to say, one cannot abandon a family and for this reason he was happy to renew the contract with the Lombard label for a triple album Live (Live your life) and for TAFKATNO, unreleased albums that we go here to review.

Kratz, in addition to knowing how to compose masterfully, also knows how to surround himself with musicians of an incredible level: in addition to the aforementioned Mindfeels, who appear here in the people of Luca Carlomagno and Davide Gilardino, we find Christian Warburg (guitarist of Paul Young), the fantastic Bruce Gaitsch – practically guitarist of anyone, from Madonna to Elton John, through Joe Cocker, Chicago and also the Ligurians Lionville, Janey Clewer – appreciated singer and pianist who boasts several collaborations, among which we find Peter Cetera and Michael Sembello, Torben Lysholm of Pangea who he also mastered the album.

Great expectations therefore, for a record that fully respects them, finding in it everything a lover of AoR, Class rock and West Coast sounds could ask for, plus a sprinkle of author prog – but without overdoing it: in short, this album could easily bring the name of the Toto without anyone batting an eye.

The influence of the Los Angeles band (even if calling it that is always an understatement) on this project is absolutely evident, but Micheal Kratz has the advantage of not mimicking – if anything, of paying homage to the story that Steve Lukather’s group wrote and that it will surely still have. opportunity to do – without disfiguring at all, as I said.

If we have to find a fault (if we really have to) in this album I can say that it has a bit of a departure from a diesel engine of yesteryear: it needs a few minutes to warm up (and so does the listener’s ears) to then leave, safe and unstoppable aiming straight at the heart.

Songs like the initial Too close to the edge (opening single of the album), The Highway, the splendid Without your love – chosen as the second single, the more than pleasant You’re the one, the delicate Let’s do something good and the more robust Everlasting lies know how to perfectly summarize the musical intentions of the Danish musician – who deserves to tread large audiences even outside his homeland: even the eleventh track, the bonus track Broken Souls does not show even a moment of decline, confirming Michael

Kratz and his music as a real panacea, almost a godsend for those nostalgic for those airy, velvety, technical (but without being pyrotechnic), sometimes pompous sounds that had so much space in airplay in the good old 80s.

Pop-rock then? In summary: yes, and very classy too! All that remains is to wait and hope to see this work brought live, perhaps even here in our country.

Killer tracks: The Highway, Without your love, You’re the one, Let’s do something good, Everlasting lies, How can a man.

Read full review:

Live Your Live review by Woody’s Rock Reviews2023-01-23T15:13:58+01:00

By Woody, Woody’s Rock Reviews

Although Michael Kratz is an established musician in his native Denmark my introduction to him was his last album ‘Live Your Life’ which I really enjoyed but when this double live album came to me, I wasn’t sure what to expect as a good chunk of the setlist is new to me. Some genius decided to add a reissue of Kratz’s album ‘Cross The Line’ as a bonus disc, this of course allowed me to familiarise myself with the studio recording versions of much of the setlist. Not only does this re-issue, which itself features a handful of bonus tracks, make this album value for money but it also helps people new to Kratz to get a fuller picture of his music.

I can take or leave live albums, this is mainly down to the fact I find regardless of how much I may enjoy them initially I don’t return to them often, usually this is in favour of the studio recorded versions. The live albums I do tend to return to have something strong about them that captures me and encourages me to revisit them, a great example of this is Magnum’s ‘Stronghold’ which contains amongst others the best version of ‘Back To Earth’.

So, does Kratz’s live album do that, well I’d say yes, but not because the live versions are specifically better or have more impact than the studio but because the set has a very uplifting and relaxing tone. Therefore, making it a very enjoyable listen that suits various moods, to chill out with or even trying to cheer yourself up after a hard day.

It’s extremely well produced with a crystal-clear sound. It captures the live feeling without distortions or obtrusive imperfections, the crowd noise isn’t overbearing and the sound mix is perfect. This allows for maximum enjoyment, nothing is as good as actually been there but this does give you in an insight in to Kratz live. His band are flawless and obviously extremely experienced live performers and Kratz is spot on with his rich and emotive vocals coming across with a great impact.

This is an essential listen for fans of the softer stuff, although Kratz is a new name to not just me but I’m sure many Fireworks readers he is a true master of the art of Westcoast AOR. I love stuff like this and I’m sure many others will too!


Essential Track – ‘Hypnotised’

Live Your Life review by Woody’s Rock Reviews2023-01-23T15:14:14+01:00

By Paul Woodward, Woody’s Rock Reviews

If you enjoy the genre you are going to fall head over heels in love with ‘Live Your Life’ which is full of exemplary musicianship and beautiful songs.

Denmark’s Michael Kratz has a wealth of music industry experience and this shows in his compositions and performances on ‘Live Your Life’, which are of an extremely high calibre. Kratz creates and performs in various musical styles and genre’s but here on ‘Live Your Life’ he delivers an old school West Coast album which showcases various aspects of this sub-genre, frequently emulating the sound of Toto the undisputed king of west coast AOR.

Full of atmospheric songs taking elements of pop and indeed prog into the mix creating a really enchanting and beautiful opus. There’s lots of variation in the songs, laid back ballads, meandering atmospheric numbers and straight ahead upbeat commercial fixes like ‘Game Of Love (Over and Over)’.

It’s the perfect album to pop on and relax too, it sweeps over you and is very easy to listen to and get wrapped up in. It may not be an energetic album or excessively commercial but it is unbelievably beautiful and is a perfect chill out album.

Kratz has an obvious love of West Coast and that comes across plainly in his song writing and fans of the genre will revel in Kratz’s loving addition to this quite inoffensive and often overlooked melodic rock sub-genre. If you like Toto, you should definitely check this album out as it’s highly likely ‘Live Your Life’ will appeal to your musical tastes.

Kratz’s vocals actually puts me in mind of Dan Reed and some of his latter solo works are not a million miles away from West Coast – so that ethereal atmospheric tone that Reed has I also hear in Kratz’s vocals.

Kratz has worked with some well-known musicians on this album and given the amount of songs with obvious Toto inspirations it’s no surprise Steve Lukather pops up on ‘This Town Is Lost Without You’ so keep an ear out for his guitar skills on that track! Kratz is a multi-instrumentalist and he plays a good chunk of what you’ll hear and he does so to a really impressive standard.

You don’t hear new West Coast albums very often these days, so when you do you hope for something really good and Michael Kratz has definitely delivered a high-quality West Coast album. If you enjoy the genre you are going to fall head over heels in love with ‘Live Your Life’ which is full of exemplary musicianship and beautiful songs.

Track Listing: We All Live In This Nation / Live Your Life / This Town Is Lost Without You / What Did I? / Never Take Us Alive / Game Of Love (Over and Over) / Lying / Paradise Lost / Shade / Bye Bye / Dying Young / In Between

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Game Of Love (Over and Over)

Live Your Life review by Classix Metal2023-01-23T15:14:31+01:00

By Classix Metal

” … highly recommended, especially for his outstanding skills in creating songs with a very polished sound.”

Westcoast musician and artist with a good fanbase in the North of Europe, Michael Kratz (of Danish origin) is quite unknown on our lands, even if he’s been involved in a good number of albums in his home country.

“Live Your Life” is the brand new title added  to his solo discography, a wonderful work filled with special contributions from renowned guests just like Steve Lukather (Toto) and Michael Landau (Michael Jackson and Vasco Rossi between others).

These big names have been called to further enhance an album written appositely for a demanding audience, the one in searching for a very refined sound with relaxed melodies, a perfect field where Michael’s “soul” kind of voice meets the great Hi-Tech AOR sound.

If Steely Dan, Air Supply, I-Ten, Richard Max (and especially Chicago) are among your daily listens, this nordic singer/songwriter is highly recommended, especially for his outstanding skills in creating songs with a very polished sound.

Live Your Life review by MelodicRock.it2023-01-23T15:14:52+01:00

By Denis Abello,

” … Kratz’s absolutely particular voice combined with Michael Landau’s guitars juggle between elegance and refinement on the first center of this work which also sees David Garfield’s hands resting on its notes …”

New name, at least in our latitudes, that of Michael Kratz. Danish by origin, with a strong background in the music business and who at home also tasted success as a drummer for the pop band Kandis!

After a long work and having found a home in the arms of the increasingly far-sighted and very Italian Art of Melody Music Michael is preparing to present his first solo work entitled Live Your Life on the international stage, which plays with both AOR and Westcoat in a mixture of TOTO and Boulevard with a touch here and there of Pop Rock. High-level production, a cast of first-rate guests including Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, David Garfield, Dom Brown and our own Alessandro Del Vecchio, all combined with a unique taste for writing and arranging the pieces… the conditions for a disc that knows how to talk about if everyone is there.

Assumptions immediately maintained on the notes of We All Live In This Nation. Kratz’s absolutely particular voice combined with Michael Landau’s guitars juggle between elegance and refinement on the first center of this work which also sees David Garfield’s hands resting on its notes.

Live Your Life is a powerful catalyst. The underlying rhythm is captivating, Michael’s voice enraptures the mind while the choirs envelop us in a text that makes us think. Another notch on the roadmap.

This Town Is Lost Without You, boasting a monumental guitar solo by Steve Lukather, is the masterpiece of this particular album. Overwhelming but delicate like the early morning breeze, if you love these sounds between westcoast and AOR you cannot help but be fascinated by them.

Dom Brown’s guitar is the focal point of the delicate and melancholy What Did I.. ?. We’ve already talked extensively about the irresistible groove of Never Take Us Alive (here if you’re interested ;)) and so let’s fly straight to the next Game Of Love (Over And Over) and its ultra radio refrain!

Lying is one of the most introspective pieces, a delicate confession that strikes as direct as a stab… and at this point all that remains is to indulge in the refined guitar touches of Paradise Lost embellished by the choirs of the seven very young singers of the MidtVest Juniorkor.

Last four pieces that enter the scene playing between the Pop Rock of Shade and the radio gait of Bye Bye. Dying Young manages to make the heart ache. Poignant slow that once again showcases all the qualities of this splendid work signed by the Danish artist.

In closing, there is also space for a little of our Italy. In fact, the keyboards of the song In Between are by our ever better Alessandro Del Vecchio!


An album that is a cross-section of the Life and Soul of the Artist and Person who is Michael Kratz.

At times sunny, at times melancholic but always supported by pieces capable of moving and reaching the target. Stellar Production as well as the Guests who alternate between one song and another. Michael’s voice is either hate it or love it… but I think it’s easier to love it. An unconventional album but one of great elegance and sophistication!

Live Your Life review by Heavy Paradise BlogSpot2023-01-23T15:15:12+01:00

By Heavy Paradise BlogSpot

It’s a kinda of relaxing record that will travel your soul and mind and will speak straight into your heart!

Michael Kratz is a Danish singer/musician that has a a long and rewarding career in the music business, especially in his home country. Michael in his career played several styles of rock (he was, also, drummer of mainstream pop act, Kandis) and nowadays he is ready to unleash his brand new opus with the title “Live Your Life“.

Michael collaborates in this new album with some legendary musicians such as Steve Lukather(Toto), Michael Landau, Dom Brown (Duran Duran), David Garfield, Christian Warburg (Paul Young) & Alessandro Del Vecchio (Revolution Saints, Hardline).

Live Your Life” contains 12 tracks that are all pure melodic rock/westcoast music at its best. Magical melodies, harmonies to die for, clever arrangements and an overall mid 80’s westcoast vibe are the ingredients here. I think that the fans of this particular scene will find in “Live Your Life” the perfect purchase for them!!

Michael Kratz except the vocals here he is playing the guitar in every track of “Live Your Life” and he, also, plays the drums in “Game Of Love“.

Highlights here are the up-tempo “Game Of Love“, the Toto-esque “Live Your Life“, the beautiful “What Did I …?“, the moodier “Paradise Lost” and “Bye Bye“. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the songs are fillers, no way!! Believe me this is an excellent album all the way. It’s a kinda of relaxing record that will travel your soul and mind and will speak straight into your heart!

Live Your Life review by viriAOR2023-01-23T15:15:32+01:00

By Luis Miguel Prada, viriAOR

” … Live Your Life an album that announces to have a position at the top at the end of the year … or at least in my book it will be”

Some time ago, before being with the viriAOR family, I would surely have let this artist go unnoticed and that is because I have become a bit negative with respect to the current times in the music scene, and the reasons for my negativity go without saying, but here comes the beauty of writing reviews and I don’t mean ranting about every album that comes out if that’s what you thought, it’s discovering new albums and artists, listening to them carefully over and over again until you capture the essence of the album (when they have it) and transmitting that to people – here comes the difficult part, and more when artists only go to the studio to comply with their record company without any new ideas, which is what abounds lately and hence much of my negativism.

We all know these companies and artists very well, but there are others who come in with fresh ideas, who not only record to fulfill and sell, oh well, they also make the work of those of us who write much easier. Below you will find a clear example of this.

Since the middle of last year, Michael Kratz had released a couple of singles that he would later include on the album, including We All Live Is The Nation and Never Take Us Alive and Liying. The album could fit perfectly into the AOR / West Coast with songs like We All Live Is The Nation featuring Guitarist Dom Brown (Duran Duran), but if we go further, we’ll hear a creaking guitar giving way to a strong impulse. Funk in Never Take Us Alive remembering the always Great Ole Børud that we love to talk about, or Shade’s Sophisticated Pop that will remind you of Prefab Sprout, Love and Money. Jhonny Hates Jazz and the entire Sofistipop scene of the late 80s in Great Britain.

Live Your Life consists of 12 songs and we find 2 guys who have known each other since school Steve Lukather and Michael Landau, on the other hand another old friend of theirs, keyboardist David Garfield to complete the super stars of the album. Even so, and going back to my negativism a bit, this is not synonymous with the album being a bomb, if you don’t have fresh ideas or good compositions, or by reviving and bringing together all the Porcaros you’re going to have a great album, but if the artist and record company that call them have a clear idea of ​​what they want, and they don’t just call them to fill the credits so much Luke, Landau and Garfield who have known each other for more than 30 years will move like fish to water in the studio , and they will contribute what is necessary to make it a great album and that is precisely what has happened here.

Game of Love (Over And Over) returns to the sound that both Michael and we are passionate about; yes, the AOR, in case there was any doubt. With a simple theme without many arrangements, but a chorus that you will not forget in a long time. Great song! Michael immediately goes on to show us his most intimate side in Lying accompanied by an acoustic guitar, probably Luke on guitar.

The album is coming to an end and with 3 songs remaining, Michael announces it with Bye Bye on many occasions. After 12 songs and more than 50 minutes, nostalgia invades me, there have been 12 wonderful songs, which make Live Your Life an album that announces to have a position at the top at the end of the year … or at least in my book it will be.

Never Take Us Alive review by MelodicRock.it2023-01-23T15:15:50+01:00

By Denis Abello,

Groove, when empathy flows like a placid river between Artist, Music and the listener… meaningless words?

It might seem like this at first glance, but in reality they are words that find their interpretation by listening to a song like Never Take Us Alive, the new official single taken from the debut album Live Your Life by Michael Kratz, a Danish artist out on March 3 with his first solo work for the homegrown Art of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group.

An unconventional and overbearingly hypnotic voice, pure, direct and velvety guitar riffs by Dominic “Dom” Brown (Duran Duran) that play sensually with a bassline with a lethal charm.

The most magical and radio-friendly westcoast regains its place of honor at the table of great music thanks to an improbable Danish (Michael Kratz) Italian (Art of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group) axis.

The song Never Take Us Alive will be available from February 9th, thanks to Michael Kratz and Art of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group for this exclusive preview.

Live Your Life review by Arfm Radio2023-01-23T15:10:32+01:00

By Steve Price – Arfm Radio

Press play, sit back and relax. You will not be disappointed.

When the likes of Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, Dom Brown and David Garfield (plus many more) agree to appear on an album you know you have something of quality and class. “Live You Life” is certainly that.

Is this West Coast? Maybe. Is this AOR? Maybe. No matter what genre we catagorise this album as one thing is for sure, Michael Kratz along with Kasper Viinberg have crafted an album which can only be described as 100% beautiful music. Brilliantly constructed songs and quality production.
This album deserves to be listened to in its entirety. Press play, sit back and relax. You will not be disappointed.

Go to Top