Saturday, 2 November 2013

Review: This Is Who I Am (Esa Linna)

#610: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It really was a pleasant surprise to be contacted by independent Finnish Power Pop and rock recording artiste Esa Linna earlier this week. Esa kindly forwarded me his latest album "This Is Who I Am" (Castello Recordings #CASTELLO2) to have a listen to on behalf of ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF).

"She's not a human being, She doesn't like Jeff Lynne ..."

Esa told me that the final track on the album "She's Not A Human Being" even mentions Jeff Lynne within its chorus! Esa explains why in this website article thus:

"The lyrics of "She's Not A Human Being" are very simple, silly and very tongue-in-cheek. At first, I was going to write a first love song for my wife (back in 2006, when I recorded the first demo of the song) but as married couples often do, we had a strong argument about something (that) I just can't remember. The love song was not an option at the time, so I wrote the lyrics about our cat instead - REVENGE! There is a glimpse of truth in the words - she didn't always like the loud guitar playing and there is a maple tree on the front of our house. And of course she was hairy all over the place and her eating of little birds was not so fun to watch. I am talking about our cat here, not my wife! The Jeff Lynne -reference is there because I had to have a somewhat matching rhyme, and also I am a fan of Jeff Lynne's work - mostly in The Move, ELO and Tom Petty records. So the reference is there because it's a homage to Mr. Lynne and I think Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (on backing vocals & keyboards) understood it that way too - just look at the T-Shirt he's wearing in this photo!"
Roger Joseph Manning Jr. sporting Jeff Lynne T-Shirt with 'ELO Kiddie' Robin Zander (Cheap Trick)
"This Is Who I Am" is a  fine ten track guitar driven album with catchy riffs and some sweet vocal harmonies that oozes the influence of Tom Petty, ELO, Jeff Lynne and The Beatles throughout. From the opener "A Drop In The Ocean" (a cracking rock song that declares the intent of the album) to the acoustic anthem "Dawnbreaker" (with its sympathetic strings and relaxing feel) to "Don't Know What It's All About" (a classy TP influenced track and is a really impressive tune) to my co-favourite "False Flag Show" (a beautiful string backed ELOesque track which most certainly owes its inspiration to both Jeff Lynne and The Beatles) through to the album closer - and my other fave "She's Not A Human Being" (with guest vocals and keyboards from Jellyfish founder Roger Joseph Manning Jr.), another superb example of Power Pop guitar licked rock fusion! The whole album is a well crafted production and a credit to the multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter who is Esa Linna. (9/10)

Trax: "A Drop In The Ocean" [featuring Milja Linna] ~ "Dawnbreaker" ~ "DIY" ~ "Don't Know What It's All About" ~ "False Flag Show" ~ "Meat Market" ~ "New Address Tonight" ~ "Progression" ~ "Reuna" ~ "She's Not A Human Being" (featuring Roger Joseph Manning Jr.)

You can check out Esa's official web site and/or buy "This Is Who I Am" via these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "This Is Who I Am" by Esa Linna to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe BeatlesTom Petty and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 02-Nov-2013

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