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UTU - Pieces Of The Unknown CD (album) cover

PIECES OF THE UNKNOWN

UTU

 

Crossover Prog

3.10 | 2 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Already five weeks since my last PA review! Well, I've been very busy with my book script on Finnish prog all-time, but anyway I'm continuing my reviewing activity here - especially on new releases whenever I get them.

This one is the second album of UTU, a Finnish art/alt-pop group led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Petra Poutanen, also known as a member in the ethnic group AALTO . With only slight differences in line-up and instrumentation, Pieces of the Unknown continues in the vein of Songs in Flesh-minor (2012). Poutanen is a personal, modern female singer-songwriter comparable to e.g. Bj'rk or Regina Spektor, her smoky voice full of girlish sensitivity. The songs are, again, in a minor key and sort of introvert in spirit, as if the protagonist was a social outcast watching the sad world from a distance. Without a deeper dive into the lyrics I can't say if this image has anything to do with the artist's own intention.

On vague listening the album probably feels quite monotonous, joyless and too artsy for its own good. There may not be very memorable melodies, and the rather dry, ethnically flavoured sound featuring uncommon Instruments such as kantele, electric cello, viola -- and guzheng and sansula of which I have no clue -- rarely gives any easy hooks. But the more one concentrates on this music, the more rewarding it gets.

The dark-toned strings are effective on 'Safest Place', and Teemu kiiskil''s spatial guitar chords are beautifully interwoven with other Instruments on 'Skin' (which is inspired by novelist Monika Fagerholm). The 8-minute 'My Friend Sorrow' is the most progressive and dynamic composition. As a whole this album is emotionally strong and original music for dedicated listening. 3' stars.

Matti | 3/5 |

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