Thursday, December 8, 2011

MINEA: "Voittaja"

Rating: 8 /10

Label: Jiffel/Noste Records 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

A couple of years ago I reviewed the first album by this band. I quite liked it and compared them to the likes of Kilpi, Stryper and The Rasmus. Now on their second album the band has taken a couple of steps towards melodic hard rock or even AOR, which should sound good to most of our readers. At least it sounds good to me, and I would say that this album is a more balanced package than the debut.

AOR as in "Album Oriented Rock" would be a really good term for this album, because it's very good from track 1 to track 10. Just about every song contains memorable melodies and fine playing, and I find it very hard to name any highlights. Still, there isn't a "song of the year" candidate here, merely just 10 good to very good songs.

A couple of things prevent me from giving this a higher rating. First of all, some of the lead vocals have been over-tweaked, and the voice of Reijo Tiitinen has gotten an annoying "robotic" tone. The other thing is the fact that two of these songs sound disturbingly familiar... "Huutaa Lujaa" borrows a lot of things from "One Love" by W.E.T., not a bad source as it is one of my favourite songs of the last few years, but anyway... even more obvious is "Tulen Talo", which lifts its' riff and verses straight from Hardline's "Takin' Me Down". The chorus is different, and a really good chorus it is too, but still... "oops?".

Despite those little "flaws", I must say that this is a very good album, and one that could appeal to many of our readers if it wasn't for the language. You can listen to samples on the band's Facebook page - those melodies are universal, even if you don't understand the lyrics...



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