Music Review-Riitaoja-Mantereelle

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Members
Alf Forsman
Antti Hämäläinen
Arimatti Jutila
Arttu Tolonen
Janne Westerlund
Vuk

Review-Have you ever listened to a cd and were so confused by it, just utterly trying to figure out where the music is going and better yet where it has been? Then, when you are all done, you feel compelled to put it back on yet again because you cannot get it out of your head. Like some sort of sonic dream in a nightmare world the debut record from Riitaoja if anything else is either the most interesting record I have heard, or because they are singing in their native Finland tongue just the most confusing and consuming cd at the same time. Think if Tom Waits met Pink Floyd and Nico, then throw in the different language and you may have scratched the surface of what this band is offering. All of the members of this band have histories in other bands like Circle, Black Audio and Vuk among other bands. This cd is released by Svart records who are making a reputation of Finland’s music scene coming on this side of the planet, and while some are met with mixed results, this band is along the lines of Seremonia as a band that takes a formula that you have heard before but adds something different to it. I think that the band refusing to sing in English brings on a mystery to this band that is both refreshing at times and frustrating at others. The frustrating is that the language takes away the catchiness of the lyrics because I am trying to use my translator to figure out what they are saying, but the positive to this band is that there is no two songs on this cd that are alike. This band is not afraid to take chances and it shows. This may be seen as the Finland version of the New Pornographers. I am not sure who this cd is for, or who would appeal to this. The music is patient and also very different from what American fans are used to when you say diverse music. All in all, this is a very odd cd and one that I think I will listen to a few more times to make sure that I understood what I am listening to. This cd may be a curiosity to the art crowd, but I am not sure how many Americans are ready for what Finland has to offer in terms of a lot of these bands who refuse to Americanize their lyrics or vocals, and want to represent their country. This could be a soundtrack to a Finland tour video. Welcome to our part of the world, we are here to take over the music scene-one band at a time.

8 out of 10