Thursday, March 5, 2009

Review: Mark Kano "Walking on Broadway" [EP]

Mark Kano is the powerful voice behind the 90s alternative rock band called Athenaeum - remember their 1998 hit "What I Didn't Know" off "Radiance"? See our reviews of Athenaeum here. Fans like me who have missed this band and lead singer Mark Kano's distinctive vocals have reason to celebrate with the release of his first solo CD, "Walking on Broadway".

The 8 tracks on this release will take you back to the late 90s when post-grunge bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms, and Better Than Ezra were dominating the charts. As Kano's deep and rich voice pretty much defined the sound of Athenaeum, it is no surprise that "Walking on Broadway" sounds very much like his old band. For me, it is a familiar sound that triggers nostalgia for the past.

But for those who do not have memories of Athenaeum, Mark Kano is still going to impress you with his brand of melodic rock. Add to the mix the skilled hand of Gavin MacKillop (Toad The Wet Sprocket, Goo Goo Dolls, Athenaeum) and you have an unbeatable collection of sonically brilliant pop rock tunes. There is a 50/50 mix of ballads and mid-tempo rockers; lyrically, Kano keeps things simple and sincere. The title track is an obvious standout, with Mark Kano's love for Big Wreck shining through. My other favorites include the slow burner, "I'm Still Waiting", and the swirling and soaring, "Where Were You Last Night", which may be one of Kano's most creative vocal performances to date.

It is great to hear Mark Kano sing his music once again. I am eager to hear more!

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6

Mark Kano on MySpace. Official site.

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