UUSIKUU - Babylonia

Uusikuu - Babylonia

14 songs
50:10 minutes


Tango is a kind of dance that originated in Argentina and Uruguay. Since its inception in the 19th century, it has steadily found its way even to the farthest Northern reaches of Europe, as is testified by Finnish band Uusikuu. Their second album Babylonia once again lets us revive the ambience of old time dance café.

Uusikuu insist that theirs is not pure tango, but combine the original style with jazz, soul and blues. I am absolutely not an expert of tango, although I am somewhat familiar with the passionate music of Astor Piazzola. Uusikuu sound extremely melancholic and quiet. The songs have hardly pace to speak of and are built mostly on the accordion and Laura Ryhänen’s voice. Sometimes she is joined by a male singer, but that doesn’t alter the preponderant sentimentality.

It is of course rather unusual to hear this South American music with Finnish lyrics, but no matter how exotic this may be, I prefer music with more punch. Nonetheless I want to point out three tracks. The rhythmic Saharan Lilja is rather catchy. Two songs (Jenkkapotpuri, Pullopostia) have a more melodic folk orientation which makes them more accessible to me.

It’s likely that fans of tango music and ethnic sounds will get their money’s worth, but those more accustomed to rock music will definitely have a hard time with Babylonia. And that’s why I decline to rate this album. I prefer the lighter side of Finnish music: Eläkeläiset, Lordi, etc.

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