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Kosmos - Salattu Maailma CD (album) cover

SALATTU MAAILMA

Kosmos

 

Prog Folk

4.02 | 7 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Salattu Maailma is an album of diverse folk-rock from Finnish band, Kosmos, stretching from outright progressive rock of the opener to more of a country-folk of "Loitsu," to pastoral prog folk like "Simpukka," then to a more eerie ballad form of "Tuuli" and then to the realm of psychedlia with "Uni." All of it is very nicely composed, performed and recorded. I really appreciated the printing of the lyrics in English as well as the gorgeous album and web art work.

1. "Salattu Maailma" ("A Hidden World") (6:59) begins with a very MOODY BLUES/IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING feel and sound. When lead vocalist, Päivi Kylmänen arrives, the instrumental support includes beautifully finger-picked acoustic guitar, simple drum and bass with intermittent flute. Mellotron returns during the harmonized chorus. The instrumental C section between 3:05 and 4:30 is gorgeous and surprises us with a treated spoken voice in its middle. I cannot imagine a prog folk song being more beautiful or perfect than this one. (10/10)

2. "Simpukka" ("Seashell") (4:07) opens with the sound of waves and seagulls at the seashore. A finger-picked acoustic guitar gently introduces a "Here comes The Sun"-like melody and sound before Päivi joins in to punctuate this George Harrison theme. A very pretty folk song accented by flutes and a little Mellotron. (8/10)

3. "Loitsu" ("Incantation") (4:13) incorporates a much more straightforward folk-rock sound with strongly strummed acoustic guitar accompanied by drums, bass and, of course, the delicate vocals of Päivi Kylmänen. In the third minute a fiddle pops in for a folksy solo. Nothing very proggy, exceptional or even memorable about this one. (6/10)

4. "Pelli" ("The Mirror") (3:28) is a traditional sounding folk song which happens to beautifully showcase Päivi's extraordinary vocal talents. I am here reminded of Sandy Denny, Jane Relf, and the other understated female masters of the 60s folk rock tradition. (9/10)

5. "Tuuli" ("The Wind") (7:04) opens sounding very much like a classic JOHN MARTYN song--complete with that haunting Echoplex guitar sound. The chorale voice approach used here is also incredibly effective for reinforcing the eery feel of the song's opening. At 2:30 the song shifts as strumming acoustic guitar and bass and drums take over instrumental support for the "chorale" vocal singer/story-tellers. Melotron sneaks in during the fifth minute in a MOODY BLUES kind of way. Fiddler reappears for a pleasant solo in the sixth minute, giving the song more of a Celtic feel than it may have had before. (9/10)

6. "Uni" ("A Dream") (7:35) opens with the sounds one would associate with war-time air raid: sirens, bombs, screams, and the surprising silence and stillnesses of the bewildering aftermath. At 1:30 a male spoken voice begins telling a story over the sparse and discordant musical notes and sounds lilting in the back- and foreground. Near the three minute mark a gentle bass, almost imperceptible organ, Hammond synth/organ take over the song's soundscape--periodically joined by a n early-FRIPP-like fuzz guitar. (9/10)

7. "Takaisin Virtaan" ("Back to The Stream") (5:21) has very much the same feel and sound as the Rolling Stones' classic "You Can't Always Get What You Wanted"--same melody line and same pace, hand percussion use. Nice song but a little too familiar. (7/10)

Salaattu Maailma is a beautiful, though short album with some quite pleasant and memorable music by the angelic voice of 60s throwback Päivi Kylmänen.

Solid four stars. Takes me back to the beginnings of Prog Folk. Highly recommended.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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