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Timo Räisänen: Anatomy Of Timo Räisänen

Album Notes

There are good things to be said about Anatomy of Timo Räisänen, but first things first: the record sounds like a dead ringer for Death Cab for Cutie. To a considerable extent, this is to be credited to Timo's vocals -- he has the same pleasant tenor as Ben Gibbard and sports the same intonations: calm, but heartfelt and a bit weepy, though never dramatic enough for emo. It's not good to fault a guy for having the same timbre as some other guy, of course, but then, there's also the actual music, which, Coldplay-inspired opener notwithstanding, is also done in the exact DCFC way. Acoustic and clean electric guitar lines slide over straightforward, dynamic, but somehow polite rhythms, and when the sweet crooning is added on top, the whole thing becomes smooth as silk and sounds twice as clever as it should've been in this plain setup. Sometimes the music slows down to sparse acoustic ditties, but even those have enough emotion and melody not to plod. The overall effect is indeed that of a Gibbard's younger brother, but then again, the main thing about Death Cab for Cutie is not the style they play in, but how good they are at it, and this is pretty hard to imitate, judging by good chunks of Anatomy, which either float by without offering anything beside pleasant background noise or sound like DCFC carbon copies to the point it becomes embarrassing. But while Räisänen is pretty slow in raising steam, he gets to the point eventually, and pulls off some engaging power-pop numbers, convincingly emotive slower songs and even good, but not cheesy dramatics here and there. Anatomy still probably sounds less derivative on the Finnish scene with its power metal fans and sulky goth rockers than it does on the global scale, but if the style's invented by someone else, the good songs (well, and the mediocre ones, too) are Timo's own. ~ Alexey Eremenko



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