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Tarujen Saari biography
TARUJEN SAARI are a Finnish band known for blending many ethnic and cultural music styles and traditions, including both modern and medieval compositions. The group employs a wide range of instrumentation including many traditional folk and classical instruments. Their songs are often influenced by, or even translated from Finnish, Celtic and Viking traditional music.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

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TARUJEN SAARI discography

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TARUJEN SAARI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Helmiä Ja Kuparikolikoita
4.00 | 4 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Levoton Hauta
3.09 | 3 ratings
Sota Kirottu!
4.00 | 1 ratings
Susien Yö - Delirium Lupus

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Miltähän Tuo Tuntuisi
4.00 | 1 ratings
Katariina Karhunhammas
3.00 | 1 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sota Kirottu! by TARUJEN SAARI album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.09 | 3 ratings

Sota Kirottu!
Tarujen Saari Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the fourth album by the Finnish Folk Rock group that were active circa 1996-2008. The Finnish lyrics (mostly written by female vocalist Kaisa Saari, who also plays recorder and tin whistle) are set to Medieval-style folk music. Four tracks are Tradiotional tunes, two from France (# 6 and 11), one from Scotland and one from Scandinavia, and the other songs are composed by either Saari or Vesa Vigman, except one by Tapio Mattlar, who's also responsible of the Trad. translations.

The longish opener is a Scottish pirate story, originally called 'Henry Martin', a true epic ballad in the original folklore meaning of the words (ie. not a sentimental "ballad", nor a prog "epic"). The whole album, although consisting of shorter tracks, continues in more or less the same approach; the atavistic, folklorish lyrics, and the compositions that proceed in a rather constant, invariable way, being quite free of pop music's catchy chorus structure, or rock elements in the performances. Compared to Hepsankeikka album (2000), this one's much more orthodox Folk album full of violin; it's tamer basic Folk even for the vocals. Kaisa Saari's bright vocals sound now more professional and less personal. Sadly this all means, in my opinion, that the album lacks the same charm.

Anyway it must be stressed that this is pretty good Folk album. None of the 12 tracks - one being an instrumental - are boring or irritating at all, and many are quite nice, guaranteed to please if you enjoy Medieval-inspired Folk, and if the language isn't a problem. BLACKMORE'S NIGHT serves as some faint reference even though they come much closer to pop and rock, as well as the usual suspects such as FAIRPORT CONVENTION. Only so and so one can think of this as Folk Rock, so strongly the Folk aspect is dominating. Some more Rock flavour would have surely improved the album...

The Scandinavian Traditional 'Kolme (Byssan lull)' has a lovely melancholic melody, and the closing track 'Veisuu' is a beautiful song for solo voice - comparable to KATE BUSH's 'Handsome Cabin Boy'. The arrangements that are collaborated by the band and the producer Pekka Lehti take good advantage of all the Folk instruments. Literally "Good, but non-essential" 3-star album. Not among their best ones.

 Hepsankeikka by TARUJEN SAARI album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 4 ratings

Tarujen Saari Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was probably in 2003 when I borrowed this album from a library. I knew nothing about the band, and quite a little about Folk Rock in general. So this music made a strong and fresh impression on me - even surprsingly strong, considering that folk music per se has never been among my favourite listenings, and the group sound is very very folky. There are e.g. violin, dulcimer, bouzouki, mandolin, hurdygurdy, jaw harp, recorder and krumhorn. With more experience from the lovely world of Folk Rock I can now refer to bands such as STEELEYE SPAN, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, GRYPHON, MALICORNE and BLACKMORE'S NIGHT to give you some picture. Actually my first association back then, listening to the album-opening title track with a jolly Folk Rock rhythm, was JETHRO TULL (Songs From The Wood / Heavy Horses era), even though Tull were never THIS folky!

By the way, Tarujen Saari - apparently inspired by the key member's surname - would mean The Island of Folk Legends. There's no denying that the sexual undertow culminating in the female vocalist Kaisa Saari (who also posed in band photos in a way that screamed attention to her big breasts...) was an essential part of the impression that the music made. I'm primarily talking about the erotic charge coming from the lyrics in several songs; of course that feature is quite common in [Finnish] folk tradition, probably a universal folk art theme as well. 'Neidon kielto' (Maiden's Refusal) turns out to be the very opposite to the title; the clothes are taken off, and in the end the satisfied maiden begs the loverman to come again sometime. This is a lively fast-tempo song, whereas 'Minulta saisit...' (I Would Give You...) is a minor key slow-tempo song centred around a wailing violin. The charming lyrics about the unfulfilled female desire end up dreaming of "you" entering "under the blankets, under the maiden". Without a doubt Kaisa's vocals express powerfully all the sensuality.

I can't check it now but I presume nearly all of the music on this album is written by the band instead of "Trad.". They have succeeded perfectly to capture the Medieval / Renaissance flavour and to add some rock energy in it without the littlest sense of artificiality. I bet the musicians are well educated in folk music, and that they have listened closely the classic acts of the British Folk Rock movement. 'Elokuu' (August) is a slow and dreamy tune in which especially the recorder weaves a mysterious atmosphere, comparable to FOREST from the early 70's. 'Keijukuningattaren Kirous' is instantly identified as 'Tam Lin', the dramatic fairy tale epic known from FAIRPORT CONVENTION's album Liege & Lief (1969). As much as I admire Sandy Denny, I can sincerely say that this version is much better!

Hepsankeikka is the second album of this amazing - nowadays sadly inactive - band, and represents them at their most charming. The notably darker and more serious follower Levoton Hauta (2002) may be more convincing and more even in quality, as this one includes some less interesting songs too. But if the Finnish language is not a problem, this is a real treat for listeners of Mediaval-inspired Folk Rock and the aforementioned vintage bands.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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