Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Out of Touch

Domino

Oct 23, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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For Jaakko Eino Kalevi's fifth album, the Finnish solo artist delves into a musical style that is not easily classifiable. It could described as a warm and lithesome blending of lounge pop, smooth jazz and adult contemporary that at times is inconsistently brewed. 

Kalevi proposes the title stems from unplugging and disconnecting from our modern world to reach an essential blissed out state. But the 10 tracks on Out of Touch are far from a cosmic chillout experience. Instead they are mostly plodding, lounge jazz frameworks colored in with  hushed drums, vibes, horns, keyboards, and organ, with Kalevi's coarse crooning hovering on top.

Having written and produced the album and even having played every instrument (save for a solo saxophone lead on one track and a few backup vocals) make Kalevi the quintessential solo artist and Out of Touch his quintessential solo album. But the restrained tone of these reserved tunes lack an edge and freshness as the light and wispy melodies are interposed with subdued organ chops and saxophone leads and only occasionally include more upbeat and sophisticated indie-pop arrangements.

Occasionally some sunny instrumental flourishes are added to the tepid melodies in an attempt to spice things up but it's nothing to get excited about. And the nondescript vocals are neither grabbing nor catching and act more like threadbare window dressings to the mundane song structures and their gentle acoustics.

Out of Touch is a harmless, conventional record that is awash in an understated charm that's a little too subtle to warrant repeated plays. (www.jaakkoeinokalevi.com

Author rating: 4/10

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