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Tenhi - Airut Aamujen CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.62 | 20 ratings

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3 stars Whereas the "full band" recordings of TENHI feature strummed acoustic and electric guitars, enveloping keyboards, and occasional ethnic instrumentation, "Airut:Aamujen" is essentially piano based, with occasional synths and acoustic guitar, all played by Ilmari Issakainen. It could thus be interpreted as a solo effort offshoot, but for two observations: backing vocals are performed by band members, and, most pertinently, it plays like TENHI, in mood, atmosphere, and, ultimately, effect.

As the prominent instrument, piano is not as effusive as the synthesizers on other releases, but the touch of Issakainen is as somber as ever, drawing comparisons to DAVID SYLVIAN's "Secrets of the Beehive" albeit with more dissonance than even Sylvian could muster.

Your personal favourites, if I can employ this superficial expression, may vary, but I find the first few tracks resonate the most, tackling the most formidable goal of inducing the appropriate response, whatever it may be for you. The remainder are decent if less striking, and occasionally too moribund for even this project. An exception is "Oikea Sointi", which is a starkly tinkling ballad on ice, one that I would love to hear with the more typical TENHI arrangement, though it would be hard to improve upon the impact of this rendition.

Perhaps more than other TENHI albums, "Airut: Aamujen" beckons the listener into quite another realm, both dire and comforting. When it succeeds, it does so by reaching a guarded space within us that seems too personal to share, offering solace and a path to solemn disembodied communion.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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