KILIMANJARO – Open Your Heart (2012)
“Gosh, how did you do that?” This is what I used to (stupidly) say to my guitar teacher when he encouraged me to jam together after a lesson and the man played an incredible scale.
And it’s exactly the same expression coming out from my foggy mind after listening “Open Your Heart”, the debut album from Swedish duo KILIMANJARO.
Entirely composed, arranged, performed (with the help of exquisite session players), recorded and released by themselves – Emmanuel Sandström (guitar, vocals) & Andreas Tillborg (keys, vocals) – it’s hard to believe that “Open Your Heart” isn’t a major label product with a big budget behind.
Finished in the first half of 2012 but officially released last November, this CD didn’t slipped under our radar, we just didn’t presented it here before because it’s almost impossible to find, sold on physical format exclusively at one single specialized record store in Sweden.
Well worth the wait: I am in love with Kilimanjaro’s music.
Tillborg & Sandström are two young musicians educated at Malmö Academy of Music (Lunds University), but don’t expect a couple of virtuoso perfectionists playing a musical score coldly written on paper.
This is music that touch your most intimate fiber, open your senses and lets you fly out of this dirty World, at least, for 50+ minutes. We are talking about purity here, pure melodies from vivid, pulsating hearts.
“Open Your Heart” walks through the refined roads of Westcoast AOR, not the classic, nor the new, and all at the same time. There’s no horns here, nor jazzy smooth overtones.
This is a Rock album, inspired by the LA scene, yes, but original and own-crafted. If I had to mention one influence to guide you, think TOTO finest moments, but that’s just a little hint.
I won’t spend unnecessary ink to describe track-by-track, all are marvelous.
Sandström’s voice is like a dream (Tillborg sings solo on the final song “Standing In The Rain”, and he’s really good too), the variety of keys ranging from electric pianos to ethereal synths are superb, the guitar go from finesse on the rhythm to sheer warm valvular on the solos, and the bass of Ronny Johansson together with the drumming of Anders Köllerfords (also producer) fit these delicate melodies like a velvety glove.
It has been said countless times, but definitely there’s something in the water in Sweden. It’s not an easy task, but if you love pure, TRUE music, don’t stop searching until you can get “Open Your Heart” on CD.
From nowhere, with the Muses inspiration, veritable talent and surely low financial resources, Kilimanjaro has created a GEM of an album.
“Gosh, how did you do that?…”
01 – Open Your Heart
02 – Beautiful One
03 – Turn It Around
04 – Fine Line
05 – As Far As I Can See
06 – Could You Believe
07 – When I Close My Eyes
08 – The End Of Time
09 – Don’t Be Afraid
10 – Writing On The Wall
11 – Standing In The Rain
Emmanuel Sandström – guitar, vocals
Andreas Tillborg – keyboards, vocals
Ronny Johansson – bass, backing vocals
Anders Köllerfords – drums, producer
Johan Pihleke – backing vocals
BUY IT !