Wimme Saari has recorded several albums of Sami joiking, or singing, with accompaniment. This, however, takes a slightly different tack, presenting him completely solo. The joik isn't exactly a song; it can be sung words, but also pure sound (as on the atmospheric "The Cold and Frosty Wind"); it's sung about something -- a mood, a place, a person. There's a great intimacy about the record, with the voice directly in your ear. Many of the joiks are his own, but a number also come from the Sami tradition, such as "The Grouse" and "The Reindeer." Also worth noting are the seven hymns, all with Sami dialect texts; they'll be unfamiliar to most -- and not, perhaps, hymns in the way most listeners know them, as there's no obviously liturgical feel to them. So while the joik remains a nebulous concept, Wimme's performances (the CD is enhanced with three videos, plus information about Wimme) are staggeringly good, the kind of things that transport to another, more primal world, away from industry and the 21st century. By their very nature, albums like this are few and far between, and probably not for everybody. But once you get the taste, you're hooked.