By Marco Aimasso, Metal.it
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: https://metal.it/album.aspx/44521/26781/kratz-michael-tafkatno/