Jaakko has done relatively well when you think it wasn’t long a go he was driving trams around Helsinki. The Finnish electronic musician is now Berlin based (the perfect place for euro music big wigs), and Jaakko treats us to a synth-pop wonder in his new self-titled album.
Jek brings us into the record and does so in a pleasing manner. Haunting vocals jump out between space-synths and drum beats of high magnitude. Vocals and music work in perfect harmony to create a well thought out track.
Double Talk’s strong melody and rolling rhythm are brought to life by female backing vocals, and a recurring, hypnotizing essence plagues the song throughout. Vocals mostly resemble British band Elbow here, with a deep but perfectly balanced and tuneful nature. When this is contrasted against Mind Like Muscle, you can really see how varied and unique Jaakko has tried to make the record. A slow chilled intro builds into a fast but simple drumbeat, completely changing the track. This strange transition is somehow pulled off, and shows how Jaakko is master of making things work that shouldn’t.
Unlike a lot of big albums, the musician saves much of the good stuff till deep into the record. Don’t Ask Me Why is a beautiful piece, sounding like something riding on the coat tails of the 70s, with strong use of piano and bass. In fact with Jaakko’s sparse vocals, the bass is actually brought to the centre stage, and more than holds it’s own alongside the tracks dreamy pace. Hush Down is another highlight, its funky vibe managing to stand up to other contemporary stalwarts such as Daft Punk and MGMT. A change in pace now and again gives the track freedom to go where it wants, and makes for one of the most commercial tracks on the record.
Ending with Ikuinene Purkatumaton Jannite is brave, but is ultimately pulled off with style. Sonja Immonen’s vocals are perfect for this epic track that builds strongly without intruding or getting tiresome. The constant addition of sounds and shifts keep the track alive for it’s added running time, and gives an impressive finish to the record.
With this self-titled album, Jaakko Eino Kalevi has really shown us what he’s all about. He’s got skill with electronic sounds that few can master, and even fewer can turn into a decent record. It’s an impressive feat for someone still in his infancy in the music industry, and a great sign of things to come.