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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Everything's Fine CD Cover
Image © Plastinka MusicMakers 2002

Laura Närhi
Laura Närhi | Photo by Mikko Harma
Image © Plastinka MusicMakers 2002

More Kemopetrol:
Slowed Down
Play For Me

 

(18 April 2005) Kemopetrol's Slowed Down went into the charts in their home country shortly after its release and stayed there for five months and eventually went gold in May 2003. In February 2001 Kemopetrol won the Best New Pop/Rock Band Award for 2000 at the Emma gala--the Finnish music industry prize event--and on the back of this went back into the studio a couple of months later to begin work on their second CD. Entitled Everything's fine (Plastinka MusicMakers (Finland) 74321934622, 2002), it took almost a year to complete.

"Saw It On TV" was the first single taken from the CD--as with their debut it was released a month before the album--and the opening is a fine example of the band weaving different melodic lines to form a whole. Although the chorus is massively punchy, it wouldn't be considered the most obvious choice for a single in the UK or the US. Indeed the middle eight is a quiet passage with an electric guitar sound reminiscent of early Genesis or Yes's Steve Howe in one of his more ambient moments.

As the album progresses, through the powerful "For Nothing" with it's pumping bass line, and the cross rhythms of "Shine" where DJ Slow reprises his scratching from the debut album, it's clear that some of the more unlikely moments from Slowed Down have been sacrificed for a more direct approach. It's probably a more commercial sound overall, but contains fewer surprises and less moments of magic.

Only when we get to "Everything That Surrounds Us" a brief two-minute interlude of just Kalle's piano and Laura's voice do we have a respite. "Windmills" is also more relaxed with Leri Leskinen's accordion adding a little color. "Hypo Eyes' opens with a dramatic repeating piano figure played over a somewhat annoying drum machine pattern, but the song develops well and smacks of the 1980s and Claire Grogan fronting Altered Images.

"Forest For The Trees" is a beautifully laid back affair with some effective strings. The penultimate song "Everything Under Control" opens with Teemu giving the kit some fearful hammer before Kalle piano pounds in. This track is the highlight of the album, some of the commercial polish of other tracks is absent, but Laura's expressive vocals and the quirky arrangement--Leri's accordion has a cameo--together with the build and thenthere's a berserk guitar solo from Marko that makes it by far the most musically ambitious, powerful and interesting piece on the disc.

The album closes with the mellow and very beautiful "Everything's Fine" wonderfully juxtaposed with the track that precedes it. Kalle's electric piano is to the fore in the introduction and there's some great keyboard ripples later in the piece. They saved the best two tracks for last.

Everything's fine is a somewhat pared back affair when compared to Slowed Down. Whilst still a fine album, maintaining the strong melodies of its predecessor, overall it doesn't match the extraordinary level of song writing, imagination and inventiveness of their debut. Whereas on their first album, inspired ideas seemed to be falling over themselves to get noticed, this CD lacks that feeling of spontaneity and adrenalin. It has the feel of an album that's aiming for a more commercial section of the market. If so, it succeeded: on release in April 2002, Everything's fine went straight to No. 1.--Jamie Field in Hereford England and Russ Elliot in New York

 
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