Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Janne Westerlund- Oran (9pm Records 9pm046)

Janne Westerlund is one of the guitar players in the Finnish experimental rock band, Circle. This is his first solo album and it is something completely different. He recorded all of these songs between 2009-2011 and played all the instruments except for the congas and djembe on tracks 2 and 3 (Alvar). The CD is 10 very personal tracks with many just guitars or banjo and voice. The nice digipack also has an insert that folds out into a small poster of the cover and the other side has all the lyrics. The CD starts off with A Prayer for Judee Sill with a beautiful acoustic guitar, double tracked vocals and a nice keyboard accompaniment. Fantastic song. Squeaky Love is an unusual and very nice love song. The way the vocal is sung reminds me very much of Bruce Duff (Jesters of Destiny, Circle) on several of the tracks. Famous Birthmark has a different sounding guitar (not a banjo) and the way the vocal is sung-spoken balanced in a pretty cool way with the guitar playing and deep bass that permeates the track. It has a long cool solo guitar, keyboard section that is fantastic. Great song. Friend is a slow passionate track, more stripped down and personal. For the song Evelyn Rose Janne switches to the banjo. I really like the singing on this track, a bit more like a track from the backwoods of Kentucky! Hallelujah, I’m a Bum, is also played on banjo but the sound of the room is noticeably different but no less passionate! A nice church like keyboard also comes in. Let it Show has a more strumming guitar style rather than hand picking and a more gruff vocal as well. Water Tower is more stripped down and almost sad in its mood but beautiful. North Pole ends the CD and is the shortest track at just under 2 mins. I loved this CD. Very honest, heartfelt music and not very much like Circle, so be adventurous.

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