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CHROMA KEY - Dead Air for Radios cover
3.06 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1998

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Colorblind (4:51)
2. Even the waves (6:33)
3. Undertow (4:49)
4. America the video (4:29)
5. S.O.S. (5:24)
6. Camera 4 (3:49)
7. On the page (4:21)
8. Mouse (5:10)
9. Hell Mary (4:02)

Total Time: 53:28


- Kevin Moore / vocals, keyboards, bass
- Mark Zonder / drums
- Jason Anderson / guitars
- Joey Vera / bass on tracks 3, 4, and 5

About this release

Fight Evil Records, December 16, 1998

Kevin Moore, Steve Tushar

Thanks to UMUR for the addition


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Dead Air for RadiosDead Air for Radios
Fight Evil Records 1999
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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Let it never be said that Kevin Moore lacks artistic integrity: after departing from Dream Theater during the Awake sessions, he could have gone for the easy money and simply churned out something imitating the commercial hit style of Images and Words, but instead he followed his own muse and established Chroma Key, a space rock project. After producing a range of demos over the next few years and lending Fates Warning a hand in realising A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Moore would release this album to unleash the Chroma Key sound on the world.

That sound, to me, sounds a bit like where mid-to-late Pink Floyd may have ended up had they scaled back the spotlight on Dave Gilmour's guitar work and made the keyboards more prominent. (The vocals even kick off doing the whole "singing through a telephone" thing that Pink Floyd-inspired groups seem to love to do.)

It's all rather pleasant stuff, and at its best is rather relaxing, but at the same time I can't find it in myself to really have especially strong feelings about this album; it's competent enough, but it's just kind of there, and it's in that awkward space where it's ambient enough to be forgettable but not quite ambient enough where that's sort of the point.
"Dead Air for Radios" is the debut full-length studio album by US ambient/atmospheric pop/rock artist Chroma Key. The album was released through Fight Evil Records in December 1998. Chroma Key was formed in 1998 and is essentially a solo project for keyboard player Kevin Moore, who is probably mostly known for being the original keyboard player in Dream Theater, but also for his involvement with O.S.I. and Fates Warning. Kevin Moore had already recorded a demo in 1995 under his own name, but opted for a name change to Chroma Key.

Although Kevin Moore was a central figure in Dream Theater and the creation of their unique sound, he never cared much for touring and didn´t embrace his celebrity status with joy, so he called it quits after recording his parts for Dream Theater´s 3rd full-length studio album "Awake (1994)". He was replaced by Derek Sherinian for the tour supporting the album.

In that light it´s maybe not surprising that the music on "Dead Air for Radios" is not loud and flashy progressive metal, but instead a laid back, mellow, and pleasant ambient/atmospheric type of pop/rock. The only thing Kevin Moore did with Dream Theater, which remotely resembles the sound on "Dead Air for Radios" is "Space Dye West". The atmosphere is melancholic, the playing and the singing subtle, and the omnipresent piano and keyboards pleasant and well composed.

The material on the 9 track, 53:28 minutes long album is slightly one-dimensional in terms of atmosphere and it´s not exactly dynamic either. Emotionally monotone is probably a valid description, because even though there are plenty of melodic themes on the album, they aren´t hook laden, and therefore very few tracks on the album stand out or are memorable after the album has stopped playing. The most aparte track on the album is the electronic almost techno inspired track "Camera 4", which is also one of the highlights.

"Dead Air for Radios" is very well produced although the drum sound could have prospered from a more organic tone. Overall it´s a nice laid back atmospheric pop/rock album and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

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