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Haikara - Iso Lintu CD (album) cover

ISO LINTU

Haikara

 

Eclectic Prog

2.72 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ScorchedFirth
1 stars (2/10)

First to second album was somewhat of a change for Haikara, but second to third was a drastic change. The band is now almost entirely removed from the music of their excellent debut. This is strange, because a lot of things are the same. The cover art is still weird, the instruments are the same, the vocals are still in Finnish, the flute and saxophone are still around, and the guitar is just the same. We even keep nearly the same lineup from "Geafar" (with the only change being that Matti Heinänen comes in to replace Auli Lattunenno on vocals). But "Iso Lintu" is very different to the first two albums, and I'm afraid it's a turn for the worse.

The album is composed of much shorter, and much more simplistic songs, none breaking the 5 min mark. The album itself only comes in at about 29 min! The band was with a record company that wanted short catchy singles (see the bonus tracks also) and were having to make a lot of compromises. Actually, some of the members of the band were pushing in this direction too, which is probably why they subsequently broke up and went on a 22 year hiatus (Vesa Lattunen would return in 1998 to reform the band). In fact, Lattunen himself says "The main reason was that the drummer and the bass player wanted to play more commercial music to make more money". That's not to say short songs or albums are a problem (think Gentle Giant), but in this case, the album is short because the songs are very basic, and there isn't much to them.

Some songs that did catch my attention though. "Romanssi" is a more measured piece, with a slightly more mellow mood in line with Haikara's previous albums. In fact, "Romanssi" is a part of their composition for group and symphony orchestra "Kuutamo", that will hopefully one day see the light of day. "Für Hanna" is a neat little instrumental track that I enjoy for its delicate flute sounds. "Kuinka Ollakaan" also provides a bit of an early-Tull vibe, with the hard guitar, and slightly dirty flute. These are all rather belated highlights though. A handful of other tracks also achieve this same kind of style, but nothing else is particularly good, they just come off more as mild and unremarkable rather than elegant or energetic.

Songs like "Hotellinainen" and the (arithmetically problematic) short track "2+2=5" are completely not prog. The former is a hard rock 'repeat-the-name-of-the-song-to-form-the-chorus' piece, and the latter sounds exactly like if The Kinks had sung in Finnish. That sort of music has it's place, but it is not in a prog rock collection. Looking at the English names of the songs (e.g. "The Hotel Woman") it also seems like this time it probably isn't worth searching for a translation of the lyrics. The vocals are pretty forgettable for the most part anyway.

What we are left with is a band where the ambition is mostly gone, and much of the music is not even that progressive. A lot of this is just verse/chorus/verse fare, with nothing to mark it out but the embellishments of flute, sax and occasional strings. The guitar has got very standard too. Being short is a saving grace of the album. It is often boring, but I wasn't bored to death, only because it is over very quickly. This is not a good compliment to be given. Perhaps this is not a tedious experience, but the album does not really stand up at all to repeated listens. Don't waste you time on "Iso Lintu".

ScorchedFirth | 1/5 |

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