August 2002 Archives

Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus: LumessakahlaajatCDs, Ranka Recordings 2002

Track list: Lumessakahlaajat - Kova maa (live) - Tie

Lumessakahlaajat is the third single from the latest Trio Niskalaukaus album. Besides the title song, which is very good, among the best tracks of the album, there are two songs. "Kova maa" is also familiar from the album. This version was recorded live at Provinssirock festival and it features Jarkko Martikainen doing some guest vocals. Third song, "Tie" is a cover, performed earlier by Sakari Kuosmanen. All in all, a decent single, but doesn't have as good bonus tracks as the "Surupuku" single. ***

Barry Adamson: The King of Nothing HillCD, Mute 2002

Track list: Cinematic Soul - Whispering Streets - Black Amour - When Darkness Calls - The Second Stain - Twisted Smile - Le Matin Des Noire - That Fool Was Me - The Crime Scene - Cold Comfort

Barry Adamson is the king of cool. His music has definite movie soundtrack quality. There's traces of jazz, funk, rock and who knows what else, all mixed up to one shady and smooth album. If you're looking for something really cool, try this one. The package is complete with very good-looking digipak cover. Just listen to the first track, "Cinematic Soul" and you'll know what I'm talking about. ****

Tortoise: Standards

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Tortoise: StandardsCD, Thrill Jockey 2000

Track list: Seneca - Eros - Benway - Firefly - Six Pack - Eden 2 - Monica - Blackjack - Eden 1 - Speakeasy

This album of instrumental music is mostly ok, but also most of the time not catchy enough. There's some nice, groovy beats, but if you compare to this to, for example, Can, you can hear a lot of difference there. Few better tracks ("Benway", for example) stand out, but most of it is quite uninspiring. ***

Waits, Tom: Alice

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Tom Waits: AliceCD, Anti 2002

Track list: Alice - Everything You Can Think - Flower's Grave - No One Knows I'm Gone - Kommienezuspadt - Poor Edward - Table Top Joe - Lost in the Harbour - We're All Mad Here - Watch Her Disappear - Reeperbahn - I'm Still Here - Fish & Bird - Barcarolle - Fawn

These songs are over ten years old, but they are new recordings. Alice is much more gentle album than it's companion Blood Money: jazz ballads, waltzes, theatrical music. This is also originally theatrical work, for a play loosely about Alice Liddell, the original Alice in Wonderland. This one's for those, who like the gentle blues ballad side of Tom Waits. Alice, for example, is quite remarkable song. Great work, simply put. *****

Waits, Tom: Blood Money

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Tom Waits: Blood MoneyCD, Anti 2002

Track list: Misery Is the River of the World - Everything Goes to Hell - Coney Island Baby - All the World Is Green - God's Away on Business - Another Man's Vine - Knife Chase - Lullaby - Starving in the Belly of a Whale - The Part You Throw Away - Woe - Calliope - A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Blood Money is written for a theater play "Woyzeck". I've seen, but it was a different version. However, this would fit quite nicely. As you can see from the song titles, this isn't the most happy music ever recorded. The album features one of the very best Tom Waits tracks ever, "God's Away on Business". Rest of it is almost equally good, so if you like Tom Waits' musical curioties, you'll love Blood Money. To the uninitiated, caution is advised. *****

Swans: Various Failures

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Swans: Various Failures2xCD, Young God Records 1998

Track list: Miracle of Love - Black Eyed Dog - The Golden Boy that Was Swallowed by the Sea - (-) - I Remember Who You Are - Her - No Cruel Angel - When She Breathes - Why Are We Alive? - The Child's Right - (-) - The Other Side of the World - Song for Dead Time (mg version) - Love Will Save You - Blind - Unfortunate Lie (instrumental version) - Was He Alive? - Failure - Identity - Can't Find My Way Home - Trust Me - Better Than You - Love Will Tear Us Apart (j. version) - Will We Survive? - Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes - God Damn the Sun - Eyes of Nature - You Know Everything - Song for Dead Time (j. version) - Picture of Maryanne - Amnesia - Dream Dream - Please Remember Me - New Mind (acoustic)

My only regret about this album is not finding it, say, five years ago. Back then I would've been even more impressed by it, if that's possible. The feeling is close to listening to Joy Division's Heart and Soul box for the first time. Oh-my-god-this-is-good! If you like your music heavy as lead (but not heavy as in heavy metal) and black as the night, here you go. The songs are atmospheric, beautiful and gloomy. Best comparison I can draw is to the House of Usher, who have similar melodies in their songs. Also, the double cd might be a bit expensive, but contains over 150 minutes of aural candy worth every cent you pay. *****

Moonsorrow: Voimasta ja kunniastaCD, Spikefarm 2001

Track metal: Tyven - Sankarihauta - Kylän päässä - Hiidenpelto including Häpeän hiljaiset vedet - Aurinko ja kuu - Sankaritarina

My first contact with Moonsorrow was "Kylän päässä" on Spikefarm Sampler cd. I thought it was brilliant... It took me a surprisingly long time to actually buy the album. Now I've done it, I wish I'd done it earlier. These guys rock! Their 10-minute long songs are epic, in a very positive sense. The lyrics are full of viking imagery, sense of honour and glory on the battlefield. Comparisons are drawn to Bathory, I personally think Moonsorrow is a black metal version of what Manowar is at their very best. *****

Sanchez, Yvonne: Invitation

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Yvonne Sanchez: InvitationCD, Cube/Metier 2002

Track list: Old Devil Moon - The Way You Look Tonight - In a Mellow Tone - Feitico de Irena - My Romance - Invitation - Nica's Dream - All of Me - I'll Remember April - Lover Man - Well You Needn't - Dindi - Autumn Leaves

Yvonne Sanchez is a Czech jazz lady with a very nice voice. She's backed up by the Robert Balzar Trio, whose work I've enjoyed before. This one is no different. Sanchez performs cover songs and does that well. I think she's a good vocalist and the band is also very good. If you're looking for atmospheric and easy jazz music with vocals, here you go! ****

Circle: Sunrise

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Circle: SunriseCD, Ektro 2002

Track list: Nopeuskuningas - Satulinnut - Hautain takaa - Vaanen valtiatar - Kylän suurin miekka - Rautakotka - Paholaisratsastaja - Lokki

The new album by these Finnish masters of hypnotic rock music starts of with a surprisingly hard rock -ish track "Nopeuskuningas". And there's no turning back, Sunrise is a heavy metal album! Well, the second track, "Satulinnut", sounds very much like Kuusumun profeetta - it could almost be lifted from their album. Mika Rättö makes a strong appearance, so if you don't like his should I say curious vocal style, avoid this one. His presence on just about every album is a bit of a question mark, but I like him anyway. *****

U-Street All Stars: Helsinki Sessions

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U-Street All Stars: Helsinki SessionsCD, EMI 2002

Track list: Expander - Dancehall - Final Cut - Happiness in C - Mobility - Surma-Travels - Straight - Balance - U-turn

Helsinki Sessions is the fourth Finnish album released on the Blue Note label. I bought it after reading lots of good about it, mostly about how strong and energetic album it was. I can agree. After one listening to, I like it - the lead trio of alto and tenor saxophones and guitar plays with passion and feeling, while the background trio of drums, bass and guitar (so it's a quintet) keeps the beat moving with a firm grip. No wonder these boys have won a few prizes during their (still) short career. ****

Verde: Karhun epäillään paskantaneen golfkentälleCD, self published 2002

Track list: Valkoisella mersulla lyömään golfpalloja joutsenia kohti - Golfpelaajan harjoituskenttänä oli lintulahti - Karhun epäillään paskantaneen golfkentälle - Haamukalja - Talouskasvu - Metsässä näkemäsi eläimet ilmoita poliisille - Hakkuuaukko n:o 2 - Osta lisää - Kasvukeskus - Käsi nousee jo - Ohi kelistä välittämättä

Verde paints aural pictures. The curious and intriguing track titles feed the imagination and the music does the rest. Most of the songs are instrumental soundscapes, only "Käsi nousee jo" has "lyrics": a young girl is featured as a sports commentator. In a slightly silly way, indeed. So, watch out - you might be puzzled by this one. ****

CMX: Isohaara

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CMX: IsohaaraCD, EMI 2002

Track list: Päänsärkijä - Pohjoista leveyttä - Veitsenterä - Minne paha haudattiin - Isohaara - Revontulten repijä - Minun sydämeni on särkynyt - Post mortem - Lihan syvyyksiin - Silmien takana - Tuulilukko

The singles promised a lot and Isohaara keeps those promises. It's a brilliant album, I think. Lyrics are written in a similar style as on their previous album, the progressive and epic double album Dinosaurus Stereophonicus. However, Isohaara is no dinosaur. It's a lot more simple and straightforward album and sounds very, very good. There are few slow and smooth tracks and some quite heavy guitars too. And lots of wonderful tracks! I love it! *****

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