Image © Plastinka Records 2006
Laura Närhi Interview and Photos (2006)
Slowed Down (2000)
Everything's Fine (2002)
Play For Me (2004)
Laura Närhi | Photo by Mikko Harma
Image © Plastinka MusicMakers 2006
(29 December 2006) Teleport is the fourth album from Finland's superior Euro-pop/rock band, Kemopetrol. It continues much in the vein of their very successful third album, Play For Me with the emphasis again on the pop end their diverse capabilities.
Earlier this year Musical Discoveries conducted an in-depth interview with Kemopetrol's stunning lead vocalist, Laura Närhi. Although the interview was completed mid-summer, it provides an excellent peek into the band's formation, artist backgrounds and future plans.
Kalle's love of majestic 80s pop anthems perhaps colours the sound more than on any of the band's previous releases, but mixed, as it is, with contemporary grooves and beats, the result is distinctively original, though that's not to say that there aren't retro moments as in "Am I going To Heaven" for example which is a song Supertramp in their pomp would have been mightily proud of.
The album is littered with great melodic hooks, and whilst the choice of "Planet" as the first single is in some ways understandable as it's an archetypal 21st century pop piece, it's also the weakest track on the album and doesn't have a melodic hook to compare with songs like "You Heal," "Am I Going To Heaven," "Any Day's OK" or the Garbage-tinged "Overweight And Underage" all of which will have you singing along after just one chorus.
In amongst the predominant full-on arrangements, there are moments of less bombast, the reflective and laid back "Facing Yourself," for example, and the closing song "Private Encore" arguably the best piece on the album.
All the songs are written by keyboard player and founder Kalle Kovisto and the band mostly play to their strengths, strong melodies with great hooks, the ability to create hypnotic grooves, and lyrics which can occasionally surprise with their ironic twists. All this combined with the jewel in the band's crown, the gorgeous and distinctive voice of singer Laura Närhi, ensures that the disc has class stamped all over it. What it maybe lacks however is the shades of darkness that were so prevalent on their debut album, the wonderful Slowed Down and which have been vanishing with every album since. Lyrically, there may still be occasional shadows, but the music is too relentlessly bright and upbeat, at times seeming almost forced, like a fixed grin.
Teleport like its predecessor, Play For Me, went directly to No. 1 in Finland on release and it's easy to hear why, but it the long run, it won't have the staying power of the band's earlier releases.--Jamie Field in Hereford, England