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Kari Rueslatten - Time To Tell CD (album) cover


Kari Rueslatten


Prog Folk

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars "Abandon hope all ye who enter here", here being the sultry siren song of female-led Nordic doom metal, or any of its barely thawed tentacles. In the strange case of KARI RUESLATTEN, formerly of pioneering Norwegians THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL, we are here decades clear of that group's shrapnel. Kari's music is to her prior group as BELINDA CARLISLE's is to the GOGOs, sort of. Her vocal oriented alternative pop efforts have been generously classed in the category of folk-inclined, but I don't know how, and I was on the team when she was admitted. She has been compared to TORI AMOS and KATE BUSH and I will add in NANCI GRIFFITH and LOREENA MCKENNITT at times. To close the loop in a fascinating manner, her songs could almost have come from attempts to strip down some of the power ballads by groups like NIGHTWISH and its succession of powerful women who owe much to her pioneering work of the past.

In deciding which album to review, I settled upon, surprise surprise, the one that appeared after a 10 year break. But first I had to add the flurry of releases that followed it and were not yet in the database! Poor Kari, nah she is fine. At first blush, Kari's songs seem easy to dismiss as stubborn attempts to establish her own identity and keep her past life where it resides, but it's catchy by prog yardsticks, as it should be, though I imagine not enough for mainstream audiences. Considering that the tempo doesn't change much from track to track, and she employs no tactics to keep us listening, this is pretty engrossing on a song by song basis. My highlights are just mine and don't necessarily reflect an assessment of their quality: "Hold On" (wonderfully idiosyncratic chorus), "Rainy Days Ahead" (I could hear Tarja belting this out), "Why so Lonely" (a remake with Tuomas Holopainen of NIGHTWISH), "Shoreline", and the comforting "Wintersong".

I recommend Kari for those who need a break from multilayered or metallic wizardry in favor of its more congenial brethren, and "Time To Tell" seems like a fine midpoint for that herstory.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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