WALTARI - Covers All!

Waltari - Covers All!

10 songs
55:36 minutes
***** ****
Nordic Notes


Waltari don’t need any lengthy introduction, as their unique crossover sound has been astonishing their audiences for a quarter century. Cover versions have ever since been a part of the repertoire by this Helsinki based quintet, with artists like Madonna, The Beatles and 2Unlimited having had their source material refreshed. When they were in the mood when playing live, it might even happen that they tried their hands on something like Von den Blauen Bergen kommen wir.

As they are so fond of covering popular songs, this has turned out to become the leitmotif of their 25th anniversary album. They have chosen ten rather different artists to cover. The charm of the original versions has been maintained, but they still added the typical Waltari stamp.

The album starts with P.L.U.C.K. by System Of A Down, and I guess that both tracks have a similar chaotic mood. A first highlight follows with Madonna’s Give It To Me which is perfectly danceable and a total party hit. I have never been a fan of Midnight Oil, but Waltari’s somewhat overproduced version of Dead Heart is rocking quite decently. I am not familiar with the Finnish band Dingo, but on Duke Waltari are showing their darker side. Look Back In Anger has undergone a heavy rocking treatment while maintaining David Bowie’s chilliness. Caught In A Mosh can’t live up to Anthrax’s classic, but the addition of ska and soul elements is a rather successful idea. Plastic Ships from Finnish band Hassisen Kone is a playful tracks with a straightforward rocking mood. The CD ends with three longer tracks. On The Cure’s One Hundred Years, they respect the original’s Eighties wave touch. Iron Maiden’s Infinite Dreams undergoes a very free interpretation. Although the guitars sound very faithful, there is still much room for little experiments. The concluding Saucerful Of Secrets by Pink Floyd is a quarter hour long improvisation, starting rather relaxed before becoming noisier. I won’t go into the hidden bonus track because this has stopped being funny about twenty years ago.

Despite that tiny annoying last bit, Covers All! is an album which is fun from the first to the last minute. I am happy that there are not too many Finnish artists covered as most Europeans will have more fun with the international material. After all this time, Waltari still don’t show any signs of wear, and if they can keep up this tremendous amount of energy, I am definitely looking forward to the next quarter century of their career.

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