Fireworks

Kilimanjaro - 'Open Your Heart' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ab/6c/f1/Kilimanjaro-Open-Your-Heart-71-1392689502.jpeg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 18, 2014    
 
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A seriously compelling debut.

"As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti" was always one of the most unusual lines in a hit song, but you sense that this Swedish duo of singer/guitarist Emmanuel Sandström and keyboard player Andreas Tillborg may well have lifted their name from the Toto classic 'Africa' as their music shares a lot in common with the AOR giants.

Don't let its Swedish origin fool you, this is pure unadulterated West Coast in sound. They can easily compete with other top Scandi West Coast acts like The State Cows and Crossfade. Top musicianship (they're both graduates of music school), jazzy chords, some funky rhythm guitar and strong hummable melodies will make West Coast fans giddy. 'Open Your Heart' eases you into the album, slowly wrapping you in sweet melody. 'Turn It Around' and 'Fine Line' introduce funky guitar lines which sets them apart from other West Coast acts. It's gentle blue-eyed funk but it's enough to ensure it's a rock album. 'Fine Line' also has the best hook on this record and could have sat comfortably on Toto's 'The Seventh One'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The standard of the songs is consistently high with perhaps only 'Don't Be Afraid' being a wimpy step too far. Interesting, thoughtful arrangements make comparisons to bands like Airplay, Chicago and Steely Dan, no idle boast. There's a wonderful lengthy keyboard solo on 'Writing On The Wall' from Tillborg and throughout there are classy, fluid guitar solos by Sandstrom. The duo are ably supported by Ronny Johansson on bass and Anders Köllerfors on drums. There's the odd occasion when Sandström's vocals betray an accent that reminds you that the hot Californian breeze the music conjures up is actually dreamt up amidst the less soothing Baltic winds, but overall his voice and the comforting hooks, that are softer than Andrex toilet tissue, add up to a seriously compelling debut.

Duncan Jamieson

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