It’s time to get the ball rolling and post the year end lists. Starting with my favourite Finnish albums of the year 2018. I admit that I haven’t been a great supporter of Finnish music during the recent years and that’s a little bit sad, because my love for Finnish pop music was the reason I founded this little blog/website back in 2001. My main interest just has drifted towards North American folk/country music during the last few years. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped listening to Finnish music. Not at all. Actually I struggled big time to pick just 10 and thought about expanding it to 20. There’s some kind of order, but it’s really not that important and you could flip it over and it wouldn’t be any worse. Music is life, not a competition. Anyway, here it goes.
TOP 10 Finnish albums of the year 2018
10. Laura Moisio – Laura Moisio (Texicalli Records)
The self-titled Laura Moisio album came out early in the year, but it has still been kind of a late riser for me and I’ve had it on heavier rotation since I saw Laura and her band live a few weeks ago. A really beautiful folk album full of intriquing songwriting.
9. Rosita Luu – SOS (Helmi Levyt)
Merita Berg continues to impress. If I had to choose, I think I would prefer that Hullu Ruusu album over this one. Thankfully I don’t have to choose and I can love both, because both of them are glorious collections of unique pop music.
8. Topi Saha – Lopunajan rakastavaiset (Warner Music Finland)
Maybe a surprisingly low place for a Topi Saha album, because he is usually in the top 3. No worries though. Topi Saha is still one of my favourite Finnish songwriters and this new album is also a great one. And yeah, Topi Saha will get his top 3 or top 1 place when the songs of the year list drops within a week or two.
7. Vuoret – Portti (Soit Se Silti)
If I tried to make an objective list, Portti by Vuoret might take the album of the year award. However, these are always entirely subjective and painting landscapes with guitars isn’t the closest thing to my heart. Nevertheless, the album is so damn good that it does rule my world too.
6. Pää Kii – Jos huonoo onnee ei ois, mul ei ois onnee ollenkaan (Stupido Records)
Every list needs a little bit of punk rock and I sure couldn’t find be a better band to provide it than Pää Kii. And don’t worry if you’re not a punk. Neither am I, but I still love every second.
5. Litku Klemetti – Taika tapahtuu (Luova Records)
This new Litku Klemetti album might not be as instantly catchy as Juna Kainuuseen, but it’s still equally wonderful. Some of it goes into the proge-zone, which is usually a total no-go zone for yours truly. Thankfully with the help Litku Klemetti, I’ve been able to make that step into the area and somewhat suprisingly find being there fairly comfortable. I’m still a little bit wary though and I have the early The Beatles hits on speed dial.
4. Tuomas Palonen – Tuomas Palonen (Palatsi)
An absolutely charming solo album from Tuomas Palonen. Occasionally this almost gets a little too weird for me, but sometimes it’s worth it to spend time with something that challenges my taste. An ethereal and eternally beautiful folk and psych folk album with late 60s and 70s vibes.
3. Jukka Nousiainen – Ei enää kylmää eikä pimeää (Jukan musiikki)
Moving on to the top 3. Especially these last three could be in any order and I love them all to bits. Jukka Nousiainen made an outstanding and powerful rock album that brings much needed light into these unnecessarily dark times. We should all be a little more like this album.
2. Penniless – X (Soit Se Silti)
The alternative rock legends and one of my all-time faves Penniless returned with a new album. I think it’s been a five or so years from the previous one, but this sure isn’t some lukewarm nostalgia trip. X is a damn magnificent album full of dark rock songs that shine brightly.
1. Lac Belot – ABRACADABRA! (Solina records)
And the Finnish album of the year award goes to ABRACADABRA! by Lac Belot. Lac Belot aka songwriter Jarno Takkumäki released a fabulous EP some years ago and I had been waiting for him to release more music. In 2018, Solina Records released this debut full-length and it sure didn’t disappoint. This is an enchanting and beautifully arranged collection of compelling and ambitious folk-tinged pop songs. Even the few more ordinary compositions shine thanks to the gorgeous arragements and orchestrations. Most of the times that beautiful disguise isn’t a need, because everything from the core to the decorations work perfectly. ABRACADABRA! sure is a magical album and I can’t wait for more.