” … 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!