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Tony Kaye — End of Innocence
(Cherry Red Spirit of Unicorn, 2021, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-09-28

End of Innocence Cover art

Certainly Tony Kaye counts as a musical veteran, with a substantial number of releases to his credit as a group member and sideman, but End of Innocence is his first solo recording. It’s a concept album centered around the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and some of the material was written shortly after that date, the result of Kaye’s immediate reaction to the tragedy. Musically, this is symphonically-oriented, with simulated orchestral instruments blending with keyboards, ranging from dense, dramatic passages to flourishes of blues and other more modern styles. Keyboard sounds feature both classic organ and piano and digital synths, and there are programmed percussion parts, mostly big-sounding toms after the fashion of action-movie soundtracks, sometimes more standard pop drum-machine. At times it sounds like there’s a fretless bass or guitar in the mix, but nothing seems to be credited, so either Kaye plays them or they’re simulated. There are some aspects of classic Vangelis in evidence, and it certainly does sound like soundtrack music. Whether it can stand on its own as a listening experience will likely be a highly subjective call. For me, the answer is “Mostly not,” but fans of melodic symphonic rock will likely fall on the other side — not that there’s a lot of rock in the mix.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Kaye


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