String Tease

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This record sets out to fool you initially -- it sounds so normal, so lightly classical, so cheerfully easy listening, all pizzicato introduction and lushly sweeping ads-for-dot-coms-of-doom soundtrack. Having suckered the listener, the group (four violins, one harmonium, one double bass, plus string orchestra support on most tracks) stands the music on its head and settles into a distinctly Finnish groove -- not only that, it's a gleeful groove, where the music makes it obvious that the composers and performers were all having a fine old time. In a way, this does make String Tease almost a Finnish easy-listening album -- you're saved, perhaps thankfully, by the fact that quite a bit of this music does generate a distinct urge in the legs and feet. For some, if the music inspires dancing that stimulates the cardiovascular system, then it is by no stretch of the imagination any kind of easy-listening record. Proficient players, fun music, and a flying visit from Väsen all add up to a heck of a (Finnish) hoedown.

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