CHURCH OF THE BLUE NUN - The Art Of Worshipping
The unusual band name has been borrowed by a brand of white wine. The two gentlemen Mäkkelä and Velzen don’t play music to drink to though, considering that the CD was recorded live in a deconsecrated church from the 1920’s.
Both musicians have a background in rock music but decided to create an acoustic album in the singer/songwriter genre. Martti Mäkkelä was the frontman of the Miracle G(y)rlz back in the Nineties, but his later material was often of a quieter nature. Robin van Velzen is best known as the bass player of Robocop Kraus, but he also played in The Mother, The Ghost & The Holy Son and Megakronkel.
The collaborative debut is called The Art Of Worshipping and has been, as already mentioned, recorded entirely live, a rather unusual process these days. There are no drums or percussion on the album. The two guys only sing and play their acoustic guitars. Three further musicians add decent touches of cello, double bass and accordion.
I have never been a big fan of the singer/songwriter genre, which is why I have no easy access to The Art Of Worshipping. I don’t want to question the quality of the quiet, melancholic, sometimes even sad songs, but a little more action would be welcome. I do appreciate though that the two voices are distinctly different, which makes for variety. The album suffers from the fact that too many songs are just too understated. Some tracks (Evelyn Says, September Gurls) stand out thanks to nice melodies, but that’s not enough to make one forget the more unspectacular moments. Damsons is another highlight with its accordion part reminding of Canadian Klezmer artist Geoff Berner who also already performed with Martti Mäkkelä in the past.
I mentioned already that this is not really my cup of tea, and therefore you should take my rather low rating with a grain of salt. The musicians’ goal was to create an album full of relaxing music, and they definitely succeeded in that.