Alamaailman Vasarat & Tuomari Nurmio - Kinaporin Kalifaatti

11 songs
41:53 minutes
***** ****
Nordic Notes


Tuomari Nurmio, born in 1950, is considered to be Finland’s answer to Bob Dylan. He released his first album in 1979, and since then has made more than twenty records with different backing bands. This artist from Helsinki who feels most at ease in rock, country and blues is one of the most distinguished singer/songwriters from his country. Next to his musical abilities, this is reinforced by his poetic lyrics, although that’s something only those familiar with the Finnish language can appreciate.

His new album Kinaporin Kalifaatti, which he recorded with Alamaailman Vasarat – a heavy polka band – convinces with a multitude of moods. The songs generally support Nurmio’s alcohol weathered voice by combining timeless rock music with folk instruments. A few quieter tracks have intensive accordion parts, although I have most fun with the faster pieces. The horn section even makes for a certain klezmer atmosphere. The gloomy Karavaani Kulkee is dominated by heavy use of double bass, providing a smoky basement jazz feeling. Rivattu even sounds like a tango. The catchiest track is Lemmen Jumalatar, reminding me a little of the Residents.

The ratio of melancholic and faster songs is optimal. I was only disappointed that the album was already over after 42 minutes, and I am convinced that this music will even sound better on stage.

Back to Reviews