Album Review: “Terra” – Jenni Vartiainen

^ Stand out track

What better way to start off this blog with a Finnish Pop Concept Album!? Normally, images of female fronted Gothic metal bands (ahem Nightwish) spring to mind when thinking of this frozen continent’s contribution to music. Granted, Jenni does seem to embody an icy exterior and the music videos I’ve come across highlight a lot of dark material. Maybe its because they hardly ever see sunlight so far North? Seasonal Depression is a thing after all…

Anyway, I stumbled upon Terra on Spotify one winter night and shit, what a find!

Terra is so fully realized as an album; every track feels like it has been meticulously placed; indeed, there’s this sense of a story progressing throughout. I could be wrong; yes, it’s all in Finnish. And yes, I know only like…5 million people will fully understand the lyrics and linguistic nuances that go with every language. But to me, it sounds so melodious; those R Trills gurl! Those ridiculously long-winded words!

Terra opens with “I Remember The Light” (“Muistan Kirkkauden”), gung-ho heavy on plucked strings and a choral theme that continues in a fashion into the first single “Women & Trains” (“Junat Ja Naiset”) and other tracks later on. “Junat”  is easily the most singable on Terra (especially if you can’t speak Finnish) and incorporates strings and Scandinavian pop sensibilities without cheapening the track.

Other stand out tracks include “Suru On Kunniavieras” (“Grief Is A Guest of Honor”) with its almost raven-like screams and appropriate string work, and “Mina Sinua Vaan” (“I, Only You”) completes the album – a mellow ballad about sacrificing everything for another. Did I mention the strings are beautiful on this track too? (SERIOUSLY, THE STRINGS ON THIS ALBUM!)

There is one dud Jenni, and I’m sorry but I have no idea why you agreed to let “Selvasti Paitynyt” (“Clearly Intoxicated”) on Terra. Seriously, ultra light Scandipop mixed with drawling Finnish vocals do not compliment each other whatsoever! Skip that travesty!

Jennivartiainen-terraConclusion

I love albums that show meticulous attention to detail while maintaining a cohesive theme/idea/sound throughout. For me personally, it gives some insight into the artists’ motives and personality. The tracks on Terra are all incredibly heightened by its arrangements; some incorporate sensible pop roots, others with incredible string arrangements. Fuck me, even the album artwork compliments the tracks!
Terra is my winter album to fall back on. Can’t wait to see what she brings out next =]

4.5 out of 5 stars!

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