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What is good music?

Is it a trend that is made to seep into every fabric of our being by incessantly obvious media? Is it a weird hairdo and an addiction to the limelight that makes the artist appear in every frame of every picture? Is it just being obtuse and “alternate”? Is it a much needed change from whatever is holding our fickle attention? Is it hype, fame, a unique voice, leopard stretch pants?

I respect all kinds of art – after all each piece of art, be it music or a painting, is somebody’s creation. Rap, hip-hop, house are just a few genres I don’t really understand – but I have nothing against them. Power to Jay-Z if he finds an audience. Kudos to Lady Ga Ga for finding her 15 minutes of fame. All that is fine. But in my humble book of opinions, Good Music is music which uplifts you. Good Music is music which has melody. Good music is where each member who creates it is rock solid in his or her virtuosity. Good music is where there is no pretention, just an honest-to-god intention to make sound which will make others happy. Good Music is simple. Good Music is not experimenting for the sake of sounding different – but treading new boundaries of one’s own creativity and talent. Good Music is one which sucks you in and makes you throw your head back in unbridled joy as you sing along, aloud, unafraid of sounding off key. Unfortunately in today’s world it is not enough to create good music to succeed. As proven again and again by Poets Of The Fall (POTF).

Twilight Theater is the fourth album by this Finnish band, after Signs Of Life (2005), Carnival Of Rust (2006) and Revolution Roulette (2008). (dates updated thanks to “Redbossfan” from the POTF fansite forum) To say that Twilight Theater is one of their best is an unfair comparison because almost every album of theirs is unique in scope and musical intent – and each one brings out their best. But compare Twilight Theater to other contemporary music releases from highly successful bands such as Green Day or even Coldplay – and the comparisons suddenly become just. Twilight Theater is in many ways, the best music of our times.

Sounds like an exaggeration? Listen to “Change” or “War” and try not to be amazed at Marko’s flawless vocals or the effortless creation of magnificent soundscapes – complex yet so simple that you want to just drop whatever you are doing and just sing along. How many artists today make you want to do that? Their sound is so accessible… so melodious. What is wrong with that? Just because they make music that will sound like music to almost everybody’s ears – does it mean that they aren’t unique? Some people complain about their lyrics not being as accessible as their music. Er… guess what the operative word in their name is. Sure they don’t sing about broken hearts and hot women all the time. Their words flow like good poetry should. Not all is revealed. Sometimes all doesn’t make sense. But one thing you can count on is that you can always sing along. Not like some half garbled nonsense that only makes sense if you are stoned.

“Given and Denied”, “Rewind”, “15 minute flame”, “Dying to live” (corrected thanks to Clawouldu), “Dreaming Wide Awake”, “You’re still here”… each song is a composition with a sound that is large as life itself. With beautifully soaring vocals and all-encompassing orchestration which surrounds you like the first rain of the year; Twilight Theater begs for repeated listening. It implores you to memorize the lyrics so that you can join these amazing musicians from cold distant Finland. Unfortunately you will never find people (outside Helsinki) queuing up for their music. You will be hard pressed to find a decent review by an American or British magazine. Most people outside Finland would have never heard of Poets Of The Fall. It is sad, because they deserve to be heard and cherished.

Well, I have heard of POTF. And I will patiently commit every note, every word to my memory – while I wait for them to give their next gift to the world.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about POTF and their music – just go to YouTube and search for POTF. Currently that is the only way for most of us to listen to their music. News is that “War” from Twilight Theater has been chosen as the title track for the new “Alan Wake” game soundtrack. Here’s the video.

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Artist: Poets of The Fall
Album: Twilight Theater
Genre: Good Music

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