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Articles Home » 2014 Articles » By, Kjetil - 2014 Better Days (feat Robin Beck)
By, Kjetil - 2014 Better Days (feat Robin Beck)

ARTIST: By, Kjetil
ALBUM: Better Days (feat Robin Beck)
LABEL: Hit Music
YEAR: 2014
SPONSOR: Kjetil By


LINEUP: Kjetil By - guitar * Robin Beck - vocals * James Christian - backing vocals * Morten Skaget - bass * Steinar Krokstad - percussion * Dag Selbosakar - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Better Days * 02 New York Rain * 03 Everything Has A Price Everything Has A Price * 04 Carry On * 05 Dancers Dancers * 06 Only Myself To Blame * 07 White Nights * 08 Superseded * 09 Autumn Winds * 10 Guide You On Your Way * 11 Better Days [Alternate Version] * 12 Dancers [Alternate Version]



It's been awhile since I last wrote about Norwegian guitarist Kjetil By. I had to go back and review what I wrote about Kjetil's previous album 'Unrequited Love'. It was six years ago, and I made mention of a strong Stage Dolls presence among other things. Not so this time, because he has arranged for Robin Beck, one of the 'dames' of AOR, to sing on all the songs, changing the sound and direction immensely. This CD has been out since February, but because of my busy schedule I'm only getting around to it now, So apologies for the delay. 'Better Days' is an easy on the ear listen, with simplistic song structures and appealing arrangements all making for guaranteed ear-candy among the melodic rock faithful. It should appeal to those preferring the softer side of the genre, rather than something bombastic like the latest Brother Firetribe for instance.

The Songs
There's a solid line-up of personnel here. Beck obviously, her hubbie James Christian, plus Morten Skaget (TNT), Steinar Krokstad (Stage Dolls), and Dag Selbosakar (Da Vinci). Also helping out again is former CCCP vocalist Claudia Scott joining Kjetil in the songwriting department. 'Dancer's is one of the album highlights. A totally engaging rhythmic listen with huge commercial appeal. Going one step further, there is a dance-club/trance like version too, which sounds really cool! Love it. Choruses rule on this album, check out the merciless melodic moments on the title-track 'Better Days', or the sensational 'Autumn Winds'. 'Carry On' and 'Guide You On Your Way' are the two ballads on the album, but I prefer the mid-tempo and faster paced material, as this is where the momentum is. There's a big splash of vocal harmonies on 'Only Myself To Blame', while 'White Nights' also enjoys a commercial production.

In Summary
Kjetil has been in the public eye since his 1996 debut, so on average it takes him between five and six years per release. Not quite in the Boston timeframe of staggered releases, but I'm hopeful that he can make this a more regular enterprise. He certainly has heaps to offer, and 'Better Days' might just be the platform for him to hit the studio more often. An enjoyable melodic rock release at the lighter end of the scale. Record labels please step up!

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#1 | machoman on May 13 2014 20:28:55
Good album! Notice the presence of Geir, former contributor of GDM, in the creditssay cheese!
#2 | Geir on May 17 2014 20:55:16
I can add that Kjetil and I go back to 1994, when we tried to start a band together. The band never got off the ground, but we've kept in touch on a regular basis since. A lot of effort and energy went into making sure that "Better Days" came out as good as it did, so I'm certainly very pleased to see the album getting an enthusiastic and fair review here at Glory Daze Music! Thumbs Up
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