Värttinä

Kokko

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    10
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AllMusic Review by

After four previous American releases, the short, sharp and focused Kokko hones the girl group midnight sunners to a laser beam of pop music strengths in the service of ditties largely derived from the country's Karelian tradition. The male-dominated instrumental side finally holds its own with the massed female vocalists on this release, even earning a fiery cut of its own. Bright and constantly evolving arrangements keep the listener's attention shifting between the vocal maelstrom and assorted accordions, fiddles, keyboards, reeds, guitars, percussion, and drum loops. Of all the immaculate conceptions here, the most inspiring may be "Halla" with its dervish riff, hey-yeah goose herding calls, klezmer and EZ jazz sax figures, and a funky horn caesura which stops everything in its tracks.

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