Progressive Music Planet

Kino – “Radio Voltaire”

FINALLY! After 13 YEARS, Kino are back! Granted only John Mitchell (Frost*, It Bites, Arena, Lonely Robot) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic) remain from their 2005 debut “Picture.” But keyboardist John Beck (It Bites) is a guest on the album. Replacing Chris Maitland on drums is the ever-busy Craig Blundell (Lonely Robot, Steven Wilson, Frost*).

While it may have actually BEEN 13 years, it doesn’t sound like it at all. “Radio Voltaire” picks up where “Picture” left off. With Mitchell as guitarist and vocalist, I’ve always heard some similarities between Kino and his subsequent bands, It Bites and Lonely Robot. I do think working with Trewavas just brings out the very best in Mitchell however since that first Kino album is still one of my “go-to” albums.

The title track kicks things off in style. It does indeed pick up where their last album left off so many years back. It’s got great melody, a strong hook and top notch musicianship. The next track “The Dead Club” was released as the first single and to be honest, it’s easily my LEAST favorite track. Lyrically, it doesn’t grab me and it’s a little repetitive but not in the catchy sort of way.

“Idlewind” is a stunning track, the big prog ballad that Mitchell is great at writing. “I Won’t Break So Easily Any More” is a favorite track of mine as well. I would have probably released this one as a single. I LOVE the lyrics, as the idea is something I need to hear currently! “Temple Tudor” is an interesting track, a bit of a change of pace for Kino. I don’t love it but I do like that it’s different and sequenced well in the album.

“Out of Time” and “Grey Shapes on Concrete Fields” are two more great songs, with the latter being that upbeat prog pop that Kino did so well on “Picture.” It sits nicely alongside “Leave a Light On” and “Room For Two.” Those two tracks being my favorites on “Picture.” The album closes VERY strongly with the excellent “The Silent Fighter Pilot,” one of the best tracks.

Unfortunately, I have not heard the bonus tracks though three of them are alternate mixes. Still, you can best believe that I will be purchasing the deluxe edition with those tracks on it. I honestly didn’t think there would be another Kino album. Granted 13 years is a long time but “Radio Voltaire” is worth the wait! I just hope it’s not another 13 years before a third album!

Rating: 9/10

Tracklist:

  1. Radio Voltaire
  2. The Dead Club
  3. Idlewild
  4. I Don’t Know Why
  5. I Won’t Break So Easily Any More
  6. Temple Tudor
  7. Out of Time
  8. Warmth of the Sun
  9. Grey Shapes on Concrete Fields
  10. Keep The Faith
  11. The Silent Fighter Pilot

Bonus Tracks
Temple Tudor (Piano Mix)
The Dead Club (Berlin Headquarter Mix)
Keep The Faith (Orchestral Mix)
The Kino Funfair

Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: March 23, 2018