Karibow - Addicted

(CD 2014 78:38, Production NIK-AYCD0019)

The tracks:
  1- Change(4:12)
  2- Primeval(8:28)
  3- On Liquid Terrain(5:53)
  4- Believe(4:53)
  5- Home Of Cain(5:18)
  6- Stella Nova(5:55)
  7- Shine on(3:53)
  8- Collaborator(2:51)
  9- The Cry (Radio Edit)(4:32)
10- F8 Al Ba6(3:28)
11- Spark(2:17)
12- Place To Be(6:13)
13- The Violent Plains(4:35)
14- Always There(3:03)
15- Something(4:01)
16- 9/16(8:26)

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Oliver Ruesing is a German multi instrumentalist who has released, under the moniker of Karibow, an impressive back catalogue of CD's since 1997. Another album could be added in 2014 and he named it Addicted.

As far as I know he played all instruments on this release and did all of the vocals himself. On this almost eighties minutes long album you can listen to sixteen compositions. Compositions on which you hear a thin line between pop, rock and neo-progressive rock music. Most of them are up tempo and have rather catchy melodies. But this doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable. Not at all! Oliver manages to create music that doesn't take a lot of listening sessions to decide if the tracks are worth listening to, because all of them are! He knows how to give those tracks the right musical colour, so you can stayed focused until it comes to an end. He does this by playing a strong guitar solo or adding fine keyboard chords. Vocal wise I didn't hear any problems either. He has a good voice and sings without the obvious German accent. Does the album have any weak points, you may ask yourself. Certainly. In my opinion the tracks are, most of the time, way too short and more solos could have been added into the compositions. This way even more variety can be put into the songs. I certainly wish he would write a real epic piece of music someday with lots of strong breaks and interesting solos performed on the guitars and keyboards. Also you could say that the tracks that were recorded for this album are on the edge of sounding too clean. Over produced as they might say. Too smooth! Every now and then a more heavy nasty guitar part doesn't harm anybody at all!

So far I didn't mention any names of acts the music written and recorded by Oliver can be compared to. Names that came to mind while listening were bands such as No Name, Saga, Toto, Styx, Foreigner, Survivor and Boston. As far as the musical level is concerned it has to be said that all of the sixteen compositions are of a rather high level. I couldn't spot any weak ones. Therefore it was difficult for me to mention any highlights. But I will try anyway. The instrumental piece F8 Al Ba6 is, without a doubt, one of them. On this track Oliver comes close to the strong instrumental compositions which Saga and Toto from time to time come up with on their albums. It's only too bad it only lasts almost four minutes. Also the more longer tracks such as Primeval (8:28), Place To Be (6:13) and 9/16 (8:26) can be regarded as my personal favourites. They have the more adventures parts on board, but I guess that's just a matter of taste. Anyone else probably would have chosen other songs. But as I already stated each and every track was worth listening to!

Karibow's music is most of all recommended to those who are into the music made by No Name, Saga, Toto, Foreigner,  Styx, Survivor and Boston. Karibow also does live concerts with several other musicians next to Oliver. Hopefully one day he will release an album with one of their recorded shows, because I am certainly curious how his music sounds when it's played by others.

***+ Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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