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Art Deco - Syvään Uneen CD (album) cover


Art Deco


Crossover Prog

3.64 | 20 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I immediately liked this Finnish debut album. It has a retro feel, as if it was composed in the late seventies, while it sounds timelessly fresh and bright. Perhaps the closest band musically that I've listened to is Aquaplan, another Finnish prog band with a female vocalist. The band sound could be decribed as light, maybe even thin in a way, with some early 80's feel. Jaana Mäkinen's vocals are in a central role. Her bright voice reminds me of Liisa Tavi (probably not known to anyone outside Finland), and I sense the same kind of thoughtful, adult-oriented vocal music atmosphere in here. Tavi worked a lot with Pekka Tegelman (of Finnforest) at the late seventies/early eighties, by the way. Naturally Art Deco's music is much more progressive than Liisa Tavi's, but I think it helps if you can enjoy also the poetry-oriented vocal music of Finland.

Others have noticed that the vocal arrangement, ie. the placing of words, feels sort of clumsy on this album. Hmm, quite true actually, but I'm not irritated by it at all. The rhythmic structures are complex enough otherwise too, so that the suggested clumsiness gets half disguised in it. The group features two guitarists who both happen to be the main composers. Guitar playing doesn't vary very much though, it's more up to the keyboards to do solos and alternate the tonal colour. First and foremost this is light CROSSOVER prog, so don't expect very symphonic or eclectic prog in the first place.

The songs are mostly in 3 to 6½ minutes in length, but there's one long mini-epic, 'Valaistumattomat' ("The Non-enlightened") (13:26). The instrumental latter half gets quite adventurous, almost psychedelic, before returning to a vocal section. It's obvious to pick that track as a highlight, but in fact the whole album offers many good moments spread evenly. Here and there the sound is indeed a bit too thin and hollow, but there are no notably weak tracks. There's a peculiar balance between some sort of detached coolness (emotionally, that is) and intimate warmth. I can't explain it. I can imagine that a non-Finnish speaking prog listener may find this album dull, totally untouching and too much of the same all the way, but if you share my musical taste, give it a spin. Nice retro-ish cover art too. BTW, Syvään uneen means 'into deep sleep'. I wish this new band the best of luck!

Matti | 4/5 |


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