Albums of the Year 2011 – The Finnish Edition

Trying out some new tricks this year and I made two lists. The Finnish edition and the international edition. This is how the real magazines do these, so I suppose it’s alright. I’ve felt that doing these lists separately somewhat underestimates the Finnish releases. As if they are not good enough to make it to the list, if you make just one list. My top three Finnish albums would have made the top 10 in any crowd. Anyway, at least I get to choose two albums of the year.

Here we go (again)..

10. 22-Pistepirkko – Lime Green Delorean

There’s a few tracks on the new 22-Pistepirkko album that I’m not a big fan of. On the other hand, the album contains couple of songs that I really love. Especially Sweet Rodeo Heart and Ufo Girl are absolutely brilliant. Legendary band are still delivering the goods.
 
 
 
9. Kim Curly Band – So Long, King Desire

Kim Curly Band broke up after this album. I don’t think it had anything do with the quality of the music, because this second album from the masters of Finnish americana was a really good effort. A bit of Ryan Adams and Neil Young influences can never hurt.
 
 
 
8. The New Tigers – The New Tigers

Not too keen on the last three tracks, but up until that point The New Tigers debut was awesome. They won my heart over, even though I wasn’t the easiest soul to reach due to the fact that fuzzy pop and shoegazy vibes aren’t things I would take with me to a desert island.
 
 
 
7. NT’s White Trash – Mourning Becomes Electric

Nick Triani’s record label Soliti has gotten a lot of praises in the music media and blogosphere. I adore the label as much as any other, but my favourite Nick Triani -related album is Mourning Becomes Electric by his own band NT’s White Trash. Pop distortion with great melodies. Works for me.
 
 
 
6. Regina – Soita mulle

A welcome reminder that it’s still possible to become popular and hit the charts with great songs. Regina’s latest album Soita mulle was a thing of beauty and their new direction suited me perfectly.
 
 
 

5. Hi-Lo & In Between – We Are Not The Wind

This should have gotten much more recognition. This one ticks all the right boxes for me. Beautiful (but sometimes haunting) atmosphere and well-crafted folk songs. A couple of really amazing songs like the first single A Clear Silence and The Day When The Madness Came.
 
 
 
4. TV-Resistori – TV-Resistori

A tough task to beat those early TV-Resistori albums. Maybe they didn’t quite achieve that, but they definitely kept the quality really high and again released a delightful pop album. The loveliest of songs by the loveliest of bands.
 
 
 

3. Samae Koskinen – Kuuluuko, kuuntelen

Samae Koskinen released his best solo album to date and I love it to bits. Hän, jolla on kaikki is my favourite Finnish song of the year and the whole album is brilliant. The album compassionately handles low self-esteem issues in such caring manner that real-life Crane brothers would struggle to do a better job at it. And more importantly, it’s incredibly catchy pop album.
 
 
2. Mirel Wagner – Mirel Wagner

Mirel Wagner proves that pitch black can shine brightly. A graveyard full of black metal guitarists couldn’t create anything half as heavy and raw as Mirel Wagner’s self-titled debut album.” Just quoting my own review. Is that allowed? Anyway, Mirel Wagner’s debut album still sounds stunning. A truly remarkable effort from a young folk/blues singer-songwriter.
 
 

1. Mummypowder – Centuries Later

Extremely easy decision in the end. Mummypowder’s fourth album Centuries Later is the Finnish album of the year. It is also the greatest pop album of the year 2011 even all countries considered, because if I would have made just one list Centuries Later would have taken either second or third spot on that list and the only one(s) ahead of it would fall more into the folk/country zone. I think this is just heavenly good pop album. The lyrics are the best Janne Lehtinen has ever written. The songs have been perfect before so it’s hard to become any better at that, but this might be the most consistent Mummypowder album to date. There’s not a single bad track on it. Everything sounds brilliant. I just can’t understand why this beauty doesn’t rule every year-end list.

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Year 2011 Round-up Part 7: Favourite Finnish songs vol 2.

Moving on to Finnish songs that actually came out on a label. More about many of these when I write that albums of the year 2011 list. Not in any order except that Samae Koskinen’s Hän, jolla on kaikki is definitely my favourite Finnish song of the year and Mirel Wagner’s No Death was the clear #2. Otherwise I didn’t think about the order. I also went with the easy route and just picked my favourite songs that were easily available (youtube / soundcloud). In few cases I might have picked a different song from the album, but I do love all these. A proper top 10 songs of the year list might or might not appear. The album list is first on the agenda.

Samae Koskinen – Hän, jolla on kaikki (from the album Kuuluuko, kuuntelen)

Mirel Wagner – No Death (from the album Mirel Wagner)

Burning Hearts – Into the Wilderness (from the EP Into The Wilderness)

NT’s White Trash – You & Me (from the album Mourning Becomes Electric)

The New Tigers – Velvet Jam (from the album The New Tigers)

Regina – Unessa (from the album Soita mulle)

TV-Resistori – Ilta aikaa (from the album TV-Resistori)


 
Hi-Lo & In Between – A Clear Silence (from the album We Are Not The Wind)


 
Mummypowder – Part of the Fun (from the album Centuries Later)


 
22-Pistepirkko – Sweet Rodeo Heart (from the album Lime Green Delorean)


 

And last but not least. Finally “a new” The Sugarrush song surfaced on the Miettinen box set and I have to mention this great track even though I can only give a spotify link to it.

The Sugarrush – Posterboy (available on the Miettinen Box set)

Posterboy at Spotify

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Album of the Month: Mummypowder – Centuries Later

Mummypowder: Centuries Later (Grandpop Records, 2011)

It’s soon time to select june’s album of the month and I still haven’t even written about the may’s album of the month, which is Mummypowder’s fourth album Centuries Later. Mummypowder is a huge favourite 0f mine, one of the best pop groups in the country and should be regarded as a national treasure.  They released three great albums between 1999 and 2004, but it took them a long while to get this fourth one done. Centuries Later is definitely worth the wait and another wonderful pop album.

Janne Lehtinen has been a magnificent songwriter since the debut ep and therefore it’s almost impossible to become any better at it, but I think Centuries Later contains the finest lyrics he has ever written. Of course Janne’s amazing voice & the band’s ability to create dazzlingly beautiful pop hooks and arrangements would make even the most typical “she loves you yeah-yeah” kind of lyric sound like the sweetest work of art, but it doesn’t hurt it if you can wrap the sentiments into a well-crafted a story. Timeless pop music is a probably a pretty lame way to describe music, but that’s what this is to me. Some songs take me to my own golden era of music, the late 90’s guitar pop scene, while other songs might take more influences from 60’s groups like The Left Banke and Honeybus. Everything sounded magical from the start, but somehow the album still finds the way to become even more and more moving and beautiful with each and every listening session. Therefore I encourage you to give it some time, if the often slow-paced melodic beauty of the album doesn’t instantly find the core of your heart. I guarantee it will find it in the end and then it’s time to forget all those worthless trendy indie bands and start shouting Mummypowder’s name from the rooftops.

Listen to Part Of The Fun:


 

Mummypowder Website
Mummypowder at facebook

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News: Mummypowder album out and available

Happy Happy Joy Joy. Make room on your top albums of the year 2011 list. Mummypowder’s fourth album Centuries Later will be released today by Grandpop Records. I’m extremely excited about this one, because I love the band and have waited for this new album for a long time. Listen to Part Of The Fun below, because it will be a whole lot of fun to do it. It sounds like Mummypowder will make it easy for me to decide the new album of the month.

Part Of The Fun by Mummypowder

Mummypowder Website (redesigned)

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Finnish music videos from the vaults part 3: Penniless & Mummypowder

Penniless: Adam’s Apple Pie

Penniless is a fabulous band that usually installs plenty of melodic beauty into their blissfully twisted rock songs. Adam’s Apple Pie wonderfully shows their pop sense and it might be my favourite Penniless song eventhough they have a huge amount of great songs under their belt. Adam’s Apple Pie is from their excellent Anola album that was released back in 2001.

Penniless Website
Penniless at myspace
 
 
Mummypowder: Don’t Hold Your Breath

You can also file this one under excellent finnish guitar pop. Don’t Hold Your Breath is the opening track of Mummypowder’s marvellous third album Consternation! Uproar! that was released in 2004. Mummypowder is certainly among the greatest finnish guitar pop bands and hopefully they will eventually return with the fourth album that has been in the working state for quite a while.

Mummypowder Website
Mummypowder at myspace

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