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Barru (Wave)

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Album Review

On Wimme Saari's first album in three years, he surrounds himself with the dense production techniques of Jari Kokkonen's programming and keyboards, Matti Wallenius' ability to play anything with strings, and some backing vocalists on a couple of tracks to issue his strangest and most forward-thinking album ever. Like Mari Boine, Wimme is a master of the joik, a manner of singing developed by the Sammi (the indigenous peoples of Finland and Scandinavia) that is wordless yet conveys elements of nature, life events, and the animal world in its expression. It is a timeless way of singing that comes from the pre-Christian shamanic traditions in Finland. It is frowned upon by the Calvinistic church in Finland and in Norway as "the devil's music." These 13 selections prove, more than any other Wimme record, that if his music comes from anywhere, it's from the hearts of angels. What a contrast this music is to the black metal of Finland and Norway and the terrible pop music that comes from the region. Even with the electronic enhancements, Wimme's music is timeless; it is chanted, moving, stirring, and gorgeous music that expresses that which cannot be spoken of — at least not accurately. Above all, it has soul and feels like life, full of drama, pathos, joy, and spirituality. While there are 13 tracks here, it is pointless to single out any, as the album is a tapestry, each track successively building upon its predecessor to accomplish the transference of emotion so pure it's a wonder it was ever captured on tape.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An acknowledged master of the Finnish Sami yoik -- a traditional chanting cut from the same cloth as Native American music -- Wimme Saari debuted in 1997 with a self-titled effort issued on the NorthSide label; Gierran followed two years later and Cugu was issued in fall 2000. He returned three years later with...
Full bio
Barru (Wave), Wimme
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