Album Reviews

After reviewing music from Finland over the years, I can conclude that Finnish soul artists always give 100%. There is no midpoint to aspire to. They’re passionate about music, so it’s all or nothing.

Finnish soul began with Quintessence, became established with Tuomo, and grew with Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators, Dolla Lova, Humus and The Napkins, to name but a few. All have all set the standard, and it’s a high one.

With a beautifully designed vinyl album, a CD and a live DVD (yes, a live DVD) to accompany his latest release, Nothing Can Stop My Spirit, it’s clear that Mikko Pettinen is another passionate Finnish music creator, too.

Friday, 30 September 2016 01:22

No more waiting for the Green Man

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Fast forward just over a year from the release of Olympus (what was for me one of 2015’s best releases) Uppsala combo Beat Funktion deliver Green Man, their 6th LP in six years, and their first that could be considered a vocal LP.

I already knew that the band could play, but when word of the vocal guests who would be appearing on the LP hit my ears I was initially intrigued. With each announcement of vocalists my intrigue turned into eager anticipation, and having listened to the LP for the last few weeks, that anticipation has turned in to deep appreciation.

Simply put Beat Function have delivered an LP steeped in the heady brews of 70s Soul, Funk, Jazz and Fusion and it sounds like heaven.

Strange as it might seem, Swedish people don’t cross the road unless the green man at the crossing is lit. Even if they see no cars for miles in any direction, they’ll wait patiently until they’re told it’s safe to cross.

Most people dress the same, eat at the most ‘hip’ places and listen to the same popular artists. It’s one of the many idiosyncrasies, often conservative, that I discovered in Sweden.

The single on the new album from Swedish electro/pop trio Artymove sums up the band’s response to their country’s national reserve: “Fuck That!”

That’s why I love them.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 10:27

Jonas Wall & the Wallytones - Like This

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Even with Google’s far-reaching spiders searching the world wide web, you’d be hard pushed to find any words on the 2013 released album - Like This by Jonas Wall & The Wallytones, and that's a real shame.

Produced and composed by Jonas Wall, Per Wasberg, and Magnum Coltrane Price, the 11 track album contains all the Urban/R&B, Jazz-Funk and Soul chords to make it well worthy of a mention on our soulful searching platform.

Swedish Saxophonist Jonas Wall reforms the core of the established Protectors of the Funk and christens them The Wallytones. The band consists of Per Wasberg, Magnum Coltrane Price, Robert Mehmet Sinan Ikiz and Petter Bergander.

Monday, 28 March 2016 01:02

Myrna (N) - Story of I

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The last evening of the cold, dark winter nights was the perfect time to wrap up and catch up on the latest soulful music from Scandinavia. Mind you, a warm, sunny beach wouldn’t be a bad alternative, right now, either.

2016 has already started with several high quality releases in the ‘scandi soul’ world from artists, such as Peo and Cecilia Stalin, and a new release that I’d been meaning to listen and, hopefully, be seduced by is Norwegian singer Myrna’s new album - Story of I.

Saturday, 19 March 2016 00:28

A Brand New Stage - A Brand New Stage

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You could easily be confused by the headline or think it’s a typo for which I am often guilty. Perhaps, I should have written – A Brand New Stage released their debut album, A Brand New Stage, but you can see, neither really works well.

I’m pleased to say the album’s rather uninspiring self-title is the only real major misstep on this 11-track soul-filled album.

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