Saturday, 10 September 2011

Kerrs Pink - Art Of Complex Simplicity (1997)

A very decent album from a very good prog folk band. Kerrs Pink was an eighties band that really doesn’t seem to have had a long active history, and according to the liner notes this was actually supposed to be a solo album for founding member Harald Lytomt. But he enlisted friend Jan Håkon Skarpsno to pen lyrics for several tracks and eventually decided to release this under the name Kerrs Pink, although only a couple of former members actually play on the record.

Camel fans will love the easy-going, mild approach in most of these compositions. Lytomt crafts rich musical works that blend Norwegian folk sensibilities with some modern instrumentation (guitars, drums, digital keyboards). The music is enriched as well with tin whistles, cello, flute and organ. The result is a truly folksy sound that avoids the all too common trap of becoming tepid strumming and crooning. This is a modern sound but with plenty of the trappings of classic progressive sounds.

Eight of the thirteen tracks here are instrumentals, and even the songs with vocals mostly emphasize the instrumental aspects of the music. The themes are pastoral, often speaking of tender relationships, memories and longing. Not really music for a wild Friday night, but perfect for sitting around the house watching the buds of spring popping up on the plants on your garden. I suppose I’ve revealed what I’m doing at the moment.

All the tracks here meld together well, with a few standing out just a bit for different reasons. “Linger a Bit Longer” mixes fat C3 organ with solid electric guitar and piano chords, while the ten-minute long “Joie de Vivre” is a classic-styled progressive mini-epic with endless transitions and soaring keyboard passages. The opening “Welcome to the Greenest Forest” is a great introduction of soothing keyboards sharpened with wailing guitar that sets the mood for the rest of the tunes perfectly. All in all this is a worthwhile investment of time for the calming effect it has after a rather strenuous week of toil and the complexities of life. Hence the title I suppose.

I don’t have any other recordings from the band, although it might not make much difference since this doesn’t seem to be in the vein of the group’s earlier work. But as an elaborated solo recording (which it what it seems to be), this is a well-crafted effort that should appeal to most prog folk fans and probably a lot of lovers of classically-styled prog music in general. Four stars might be just a bit of a stretch but I’ve found this to be a soothing repose over the past few weeks I’ve played it since picking it up, so I’ll go with that for now. Well recommended to like-minded souls. KERRS PINK Art Of Complex Simplicity music reviews and MP3


Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Welcome to the greenest forest (6:23)
2. Lady of the Lake (2:52)
3. The Hero of the Chivalry (4:03)
4. Fearful Heart (4:09)
5. Never Land (4:20)
6. Lina (2:36)
7. Affinity (8:33)
8. Guiding Light (3:30)
9. Celestial Heavens (3:03)
10. Linger a bit longer (6:46)
11. Days Past (2:15)
12. Joie de Vivre (10:00)
13. A Final Greeting (6:35)

Total Time: 65:05
Line-up / Musicians
- Harald Lytomt / acoustic and electric guitars, bass, flute, vocals, keyboards
- Jan Haakon Skarpsno / drums, keyboards, arrangements (1, 7 & 12)
- Thor Einar Wiik / drums
- Jonny Klemmetsrud / drums
- Knut Ragnar Lie / drums, vocals
- Jostein Hansen / bass
- Per Oeyvind Nordberg / keyboards
- Freddy Ruud / keyboards
- Bjoern Teig / Hammond C3 organ
- Fritz Hunstad / Hammond C3 organ
- Toore Johansen / tin-whistles
- Erik Hageler / vocals
- Geir Morgan Jahren / vocals
- Heidi Drengsrud Jahren / vocals
- Cecilie Ljunggren / vocals
- Tormod Gangfloet / viola
- Liv Frengstad / cello

Kerrs Pink Live 2002 - Sirrus

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