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Open Eye Band - Screaming Baby CD (album) cover


Open Eye Band


Prog Folk

3.09 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Open Eye Band is a Finnish one-time recording project led by an accordion player Pale Saarinen. He has composed the music, which "draws its influences from ethnic folk & world music, jazz, pop and harder rock" as Eetu's biography tells. Accordion is in a central role in the sound, but apart from that there's no notable folk orientation in songwriting or arrangements, I think. For the most part the music could probably have been categorized as crossover prog, if there was some less folky/ethnic instrument in the place of accordion. Until my recent goal of getting to know several marginal (prog) bands of my country, I don't remember having heard of this group at all. I'm not surprised there are no reviews - even the library were I borrowed the CD had placed it in storage (mere five years after the release year). But I'm glad that I now have the opportunity to tell more about it. I was personally told it's fumbling and sympathetic. Exactly my thoughts too.

The album is mostly instrumental, partly sung by various guest vocalists. The opener 'Thousands of Lakes' is atmospheric, nature-mystifying, slowly growing and nearly shamanistic track with wordless chanting by two women. Hanna-Maria Helenius sings the following title track, a rather straightforward rocker. In the little vocal-less sections I sense some nice folk-prog flavour. 'Stories' is a six-part suite (approximately 14 minutes in total) and clearly the proggiest thing here. Instrumental first part is very playful with its many tempo changes; fusion-like actually. The next two parts are more romantic ones featuring the beautiful soprano voice of Essi Wuorela, best known as a member in the accappella group RAJATON. Gorgeous melodies on 'So Long Ago'! Then a faster instrumental part with energetic rock combo playing and the accordion lead, continuing directly as an equally up-tempo vocal section. Final instrumental closes the suite nicely with some background singing by Wuorela.

The two following instrumentals are not really progressive, instead, one might say, easy-going upbeat pop tunes with an accordion in place of a vocalist. The tender ballad 'Sä tiedät ehkä sen' (You Probably Know It) has a string arrangement by Marzi Nyman (who guests on this album as a guitarist also) and male vocals in Finnish by Sami Saari.

The groovy 'Aku-Aku' is composed by Upi Sorvali. 'From My Heart for You' recycles the melody of 'Sä tiedät...' with totally another kind of arrangement, starring accordion. 'Stars' has a bold feeling of a finale in its shortness and slow fading out. Yes, this is sympathetic album in its own way, though I hardly expect it to have many more reviews here.

Matti | 3/5 |


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