Eeppi Ursin Band: Violet (2005)
Finnish vocalist Eeppi Ursin fronts a band that crosses jazz and progressive rock perimeters, along with some pop-friendly sensibilities. Her angelic and up front vocal delivery steers the flow through a sequence of blithe dreamscapes, powerful cadenzas, and jazz-rock riffs. And with additional horns, plus string players chipping in on certain tracks, the septet's electrifying slant boasts a nicely-balanced mix.
With tuneful choruses amid elements of harmonically attractive exchanges between the soloists, Ursin's velvety manner of spinning a lyric (in English) acts as a sweetener to the ensemble's edgy performances. They also commingle a few dabs of grunge and dissonance while conveying a noticeable degree of imagination and versatility. There are some twists and turns as the band navigates through rock motifs with pizzazz and verve, also dabbling with Gothic stylizations on "Russian Chant. On "Foolish Heart, the septet renders a cute and irrefutably endearing hook constructed upon a swaggering bossa-nova pulse and Aki Rissonen's lyrically charged acoustic piano solo.
In sum, this album looms as one of those unexpected surprises. Then again, Scandinavia has blossomed into one of the more fertile musical regions on the globe, regardless of genre or stereotype.
Track Listing: Absence of You; Split the Difference; Lonely Soul; Far Away Lands; My Guy; Russian Chant; Two in One; November Light; Foolish Heart; Give Your Mind a Rest.
Personnel: Eeepi Ursin: vocals; Tima Kamarainen: guitars, synths, backing vocals; Aki Rissanen: piano, keyboards; Antti Lotjonen: bass; Olli Krogerus: drums.
Record Label: 6Sense Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz