Tuomo - The New Mystique (2014)

Tuomo
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The Finnish soul leader who guided our hands to panning musical gold on the promising My Thing, and then delivered on that Gold Rush land with Reaches Out For You, let us go bust with the sappy My Own Private Sunday. Yet, funky guest spots with acts like Quintessence, the near perfect “Ourselves” single (here conspicuously absent), and with Okapii renewed hope that the multi-instrumental singer/songwriter/producer would return with the unexpected.

The Finnish soul leader who guided our hands to panning musical gold on the promising My Thing, and then delivered on that Gold Rush land with Reaches Out For You, let us go bust with the sappy My Own Private Sunday. Yet, funky guest spots with acts like Quintessence, the near perfect “Ourselves” single (here conspicuously absent), and with Okapii renewed hope that the multi-instrumental singer/songwriter/producer would return with the unexpected.

The New Mystique is like none of the projects that came before it other than being one of incredible daring and musicality. Bell chimes, astral elements, various synthesizer effects glimmer as sparkling accent marks throughout an electro funk and soul collection of unfussy singing and clean melodic lines on cuts like the title track, “Afterthought,” “List of Things, and “Ubiquitous You.”  Percussive pop confections like “Tokophobia” and “Waiting for Someone” and the kaleidoscopic ballad meets trip hop of “Empty Words” travel into early Janelle Monae and Jamie Lidell territory in esoteric storytelling and, like those artists, aren’t always as compelling as the artist believes. Redeeming dreams like “Keep Looking Up,” “I Don’t Dig You,” and “Like Stone” don’t lose sight of accessibility in crafting their artscapes, each alchemic standouts in a bed of more cool leaden fair. Recommended.

By L. Michael Gipson

 
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