Album review: CURVED AIR – North Star

Curved Air - North Star

Curved Air Records [Release date 17.03.14]

Another heritage band who for the past years have been re-acquainting audiences with their brand of quirky progressive art-rock.  Sonja Kristina still retains her intriguing allure and the band is now bolstered by one-time (1972-3) guitarist Kirby.

Kirby’s arrival has given this new offering a rockier edge, as evidenced on the excellent opener ‘Stay Human’, ‘Interplay’, ‘Old Town News’ and ‘Young Mother’.  ‘Time Games’ features Kirby playing off Paul Sax’s violin with an almost Mahavishnu-lite flourish and, similarly, the excellent instrumental ‘Spider’ enters jazz-rock territory with some style.

But the album is something of a tour-de-force for Kristina too whose vocal work has been directed by her sometime Mask collaborator Marvin Ayres.  Here she revives ‘Situations’ from the band’s 1970 debut,  ‘Puppets’ and ‘Young Mother’ which first appeared on ‘Second Album’, and ‘Colder Than A Rose In Snow’ from her debut solo album.

On ‘Images And Signs’ she comes across as a Patti Smith mixed with Marianne Faithfull but still more mysterious and sexier than either, whilst the infectious ‘Magnetism’ develops into an absorbing instrumental workout for keyboard player Robert Norton and the guitarist.

With suitable visuals and a pungent aroma in the air I am sure this will go down very well in the live context where at last the band seem to have found a convincing, stable and authentic modern line-up.

It seems the new songs had already been written when Kirby replaced Kit Morgan late in 2013 so we assume that with the new guitarist now firmly on board there could be more musical fireworks – and at least more originality – in terms of future albums.

The covers here are given a new lease of life purely as a result of Sonja’s vocal and, overall, ‘North Star’ is a real triumph, a whole album of new material, and a band sounding unseemingly energised.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

Watch again

More about Josh


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)

Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply