September 2003 Archives

Iron Maiden: Dance of Death

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Iron Maiden: Dance of DeathCD (Copy Controlled), EMI 2003

Track list: Wildest Dreams - Rainmaker - No More Lies - Montségur - Dance of Death - Gates of Tomorrow - New Frontier - Paschendale - Face in the Sand - Age of Innocence - Journeyman

New Iron Maiden album was a must-buy, even though it's Copy Controlled. Shame on EMI. It took me some time to form an opinion of this album - it's obviously not as good as their best albums, but definitely better than Brave New World. Dance of Death isn't catchy. The songs are quite long and complicated enough so it takes a while before one can appreciate them fully. It's worth it, though - while there are no new instant Maiden classics, the songwriting on the album is rather solid. My favourites right now are the historical dramas "Montségur" and "Paschendale". I did some research on those songs, if you're interested. Iron Maiden is very much alive and kicking. ****

Rättö ja Lehtisalo: Kopernikus hortoilee näkinkengissäCD, Ektro Records 2003

Track list: Valonnopeus - Vihertävä mies - Avaruusshampanja - Taivaankansi - Muinaiset taikurit - Lentävä sateenvarjo - Nykyaika

Mika Rättö (from Kuusumun Profeetta) and Jussi Lehtisalo (from Circle and Ektroverde) have been cooperating a lot lately. Here's another proof of their close relations. This album combines the hypnotic grooves of Jussi Lehtisalo to the nonsensical musings of Mika Rättö and the result is just great. "Valonnopeus" is one of the best songs this year and the album is just brilliant. Parts of it sound surprisingly quite Kraftwerk-ish. If you like Kuusumun Profeetta, check this one out. ****

Viikate: Surut pois ja kukka rintaanCD, Ranka Recordings 2003

Track list: Karmiini juhlasali - Otteita syksystä - Rauta-airot - Kuolleen miehen kupletti - Kurjat Kurjet - Piispa ja minä - Leimu - Kaunis kotkan käsi - Varjojen yö - Kivi itkee vihreää

Viikate rocks. Of course this album sounds exactly like anything they've done before, but I don't consider it a problem. There's some rockabilly influence this time and some quite good tracks. "Kaunis kotkan käsi" is probably one of the best songs they've ever made. There are other exceptional tracks and the rest are their standard fare. Not bad, but not very exciting either. Anyway, it's an improvement. Viikate is moving forward - slowly, but surely. ****

White Stripes, The: Elephant

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The White Stripes: ElephantCD, XL Recordings 2003

Track list: Seven Nation Army - Black Math - There's No Home for You Here - I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself - In the Cold, Cold Night - I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart - You've Got Her in Your Pocket - Ball and Biscuit - The Hardest Button to Button - Little Acorns - Hypnotize - The Air Near My Fingers - Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine - Well It's True that We Love One Another

I bought the album mostly because of "Seven Nation Army", a track I really admire. I hadn't heard any other songs from the album, but I liked some of their earlier hits. I wasn't disappointed. Even though every song on the album isn't another hit, it's still so much more than just one hit wonder. Most of the songs are really, really good. Jack White is simply great, he's an amazing artist. If you're looking for good rockin' blues punk whatever, look no further. ****

Dimitri Shostakovich: The Missing SymphonyCD, V/Vm Test Records 2003

This album is a curious beast. At the same time it's the best piece of classical music I've heard in ages. As some might know, Dimitri Shostakovich created 15 symphonies during his career. Well, this is the 16th. The process of creation was simple: all fifteen symphonies were stretched or compressed to the average length and then layered on top of each other. The result is not the noise one might expect. Instead it makes surprising amount of sense. The result is very intensive and exciting - there's not a dull moment. Fans of classical music will be shocked, but I'd say this one's well worth checking out. *****

Slideshaker, The: Hotwired Soul

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The Slideshaker: Hotwired SoulCD, DBS Records 2003

Track list: Big Thick Love - Beware - Backseat Heat - Hell of a Love - Dollar Eyes - One Trick Pony - Brother James - Entertainer - Out of My Head - Jail Bait Blues

Slideshaker is another blues group from deep Savo (Cosmo Jones Beat Machine is the other). Makes me feel proud of my roots, really. Their simple but brutal sound is just brilliant. The album is slightly on the shorter side, clocking under 30 minutes. A little bit more would've made it better. Still, their wicked blues rock punk is definitely worth four stars, such an entertaining album it is. ****

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