From the land of arctic metal and polar ice caps, comes this surprisingly warm debut album from the Finnish duo of composer Juha Tuukkanen and vocalist Terhi Koivisto. Finland?s glacial, yet pastoral winters form the perfect backdrop for these moody, electro-jazz recordings, from the sparse electronic hum of ?Intro? to the sultry, cinematic horns and strings sweeping across ?The Way I Play.? Koivisto?s late-night, come-fuck-me coos on the sexy, soulful groover ?Quest For Love? will get anyone laid and will certainly do in a pinch if you?ve lost your ?Barry White?s Greatest Hits? CD. ?Offtunes Soulseeds? is another romantic scorcher, reminiscent of those saccharine 70?s soundtracks from the pen and baton of Michel Legrand and Francis Lai, with a smidgeon of Burt Bacharach?s pop sensibilities always close at hand.
?Heart of Gold? does a two-step cha cha across the dance floor and the snappy flute work and samba backbeat, punctuated by Koivisto?s omnipresent sexy, whispered vocals places us squarely in Tijuana and Brasil, ca. ?66, sipping cocktails with Sergio Mendes and Herb Alpert. Ol?! Fans of the spaceage bachelor pad orchestrations of Les Baxter, Enoch Light, Henry Mancini, et. al. will swoon over the late night, between-the-sheets mood of ?From Here and Beyond,? while cool, crazy cats who dig their martinis (and women!) shaken, not stirred will do backflips over the juicy, spy film escapades of ?Life Is A Cycle With Endless Twists.? Just the title alone evokes images of high speed car chases through the back alleys of small European villages! I also liked the galloping ?Aquabelle,? with it?s lilting flute and strident sax bursts, like something left over from Bernard Herrmann?s score to ?Taxi Driver.?
Koivisto?s vocal tracks may at first listen remind you of Saint Etienne?s Sarah Cracknell with their crystal clear, whispered, sexy, perfectly executed, accentless English, but that works to her advantage in imbibing these smooth cocktail twists with just the right amount of sexual tension to counterplay Tuukkanen?s melodies and only had me hankering for more in the future. As it is, a perfect blend of sweeping, cinematic jazz and lightweight pop to please the palettes of fans of both. 9/10 -- Jeff Penczak (31 October, 2005)