Le Kiwi: A New World
By Mark Bell
In stark contrast to the title, this is a resolutely old-world instrumental album. Although recorded in a modern format to a high standard – programmed drums, keyboard bass and digital synths - Le Kiwi (composer Doug Thomas, producer/arranger/keyboardist Mike McArthy and guest guitarists) seem most at home in an '80s MOR progressive rock easy-listening groove. Kinda Kenny G without the sax, if you will. Most tracks have the feel of incidental documentary music and would serve admirably in this role, but laid out end to end there is insufficient stylistic variety to keep the listener engaged. There's some nice guitar cameos from Sheldon Healey, Brian Hatcher and Harvey Mann (late of '70s prog rockers Living Force) which helps to offset the more clinical aspects of the production, and even some super '70s harmony guitar soloing. While 'A New World' has an undeniable easy-listening charm, it may have served the group better to push out a bit more from the comfy zone. Out through Mystic Dawn Music.