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lauantai 2. toukokuuta 2020

Soft Power ‎– Brink of Extinction


Brink of Extinction is the second album by Helsinki based Soft Power. I reviewed their 2017 debut album In a Brown Study and liked it a lot. As I told back then, it was maybe even a bit too varied stylistically including also folk and some heavier, harsher stuff. Now the band has focused 100% on the light, happy, progressive and groovy late 60s/early 70s styled jazz rock vibes that were already present on the debut. The music is now also almost completely instrumental apart from some spoken word poetry on the title track and wordless humming on one track. The addition of Fender Rhodes and saxophone players enhance the jazz elements.

The album starts with a short piano intro "Awakening" by the multi-instrumentalist Mikael Jurmu who on this album also plays drums and flute as well as delivers the poetry on "Brink of Extinction". The long (10:37) title track starts of with a very nice, warm, jazzy groove that brings to mind The Amazing and Dungen as well as of course the originators of this kind of cool fusion rock. There are some great progressive parts and then the track cools down for the impressive poetry part. After that the pleasant groove continues. "Orange Red Yellow" is a slower, moody piece and when you close your eyes it feels like it's '69 again. "The Water Room" is a bit more energetic and progressive, maybe some Wigwam vibes in here? We also get some wordless humming going along the guitar melodies, nice! "New Beginning" on side B starts off with piano and this is an another lovely, rather soft jazz rock piece with some atmospheric Rhodes and field recordings at the end. "Window of Opportunity" is the longest track on the album at 13:33. Soft Machine fans will love it and I can also smell some Zappa I think! Great musicianship by all and it really is an amazing track. The album is finished with a short wind instrument outro "Final Blow" by Jurmu, all the other compositions are group efforts. What can I say, this albums sounds fantastic and I really enjoy the jazzy moods. The 200 g pressing limited to 550 copies is also of great quality and in a thick, heavy US styled cover also including a nice insert with some ideology about the album, English translation of the poem and personel info as well as a band photo by Tekla Vály on the other side. A really great package!

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