[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
TRACK LIST: 1. High Voltage 4:39 2. They Smoked and Stared at Us 4:28 3. Passing Human Parade 4:47 4. Ghostly 5:31 5. The Presence of the Past 3:25 6. Neon Blues 3:53 7. Haunted 3:26 8. Chernips 5:34 9. Mysterium Tremendum 3:11 LINEUP: Annina Antinranta vocals piano, synthesizer Recue programming Essi Toivonen cello Anna-Riikka Kiesi violin Janne Masalin accordion Antti Harmainen guitars Afromikko vocals With: A few more musicians
Prolusion. The Finnish project PASSING HUMAN PARADE is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Annina Antinranta, otherwise known as a member of Finnish progressive rock band Tuvalu. "Provocative Dreams" is the first CD to be issued under this moniker, and was self-released towards the end of 2013.
Analysis. While this is a solo project from a member of a fairly established progressive rock band, this album doesn't touch ground with too much progressive rock as such. This is an album of accessible material that will most likely be regarded as a somewhat sophisticated pop/rock production by the greater majority, although I suspect that those who listen closely might find the occasional references to some of Antinranta's stated inspirations, a list that includes names like Bjork, PJ Harvey and Tori Amos. As the greater majority of the compositions on this album revolve around a core foundation of piano and vocals, presumably those familiar with Tori Amos' output will find quite a few details to their liking due to that. The piano motifs employed in this case are rather accessible in nature throughout, while Aninranta's voice does remind me ever so slightly of Norwegian vocalist Anneli Drecker actually. I'm not familiar enough with Amos production to state whether there's a likeness there in voice, timbre or approach however, but wouldn't be all that surprised if some similarities might be detailed also in that department. Fairly liberal use of programmed rhythms, especially in the first half of the disc, does give many of the songs more of a pop feeling though, and one I suspect might be described as oriented towards trip hop or a style of music related to that. That quite a few of the songs have electronic undercurrents adding a slight ambient and more defined electronic expression probably emphasizes that aspect, although in the most brooding moments, like on the song Passing Human Parade, I did get associations to the likes of Gary Numan as well. The later day material of Numan mind you, rather than his vintage late 70's output. At last accordion, violin and cello are used to good effect to craft and emphasize moods of a more mournful nature on select occasions, and if anything these compositions gave me stronger associations towards an artist like Kate Bush, albeit more in terms of general mood than style as such. It all ads up to be a beautiful but mournful production of music that by and large merits a description as pop/rock with a primarily mainstream orientation. There are elements of sophistication that will appeal also to an audience with their primary taste outside of that field, but to my ears the mainstream aspect here is the dominant one, while the more art oriented details have more of a supplementary role.
Conclusion. Passing Human Parade's debut album "Provocative Dreams" comes across as a high quality production of fairly sophisticated music inside the mainstream oriented pop/rock segment. Female lead vocals and piano are core features, while electronic textures alternate with violin, cello and accordion to supplement the core foundation with details of a more art-oriented nature. Well worth checking out to fans of melancholic, mournful pop/rock, and quite possibly a production that might merit a check by fans of Tori Amos too, and possibly also by those who enjoy the likes of Kate Bush.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]