Who would’ve thought that my parent country would have such a lively and enthralling R&B and soul scene, that just keeps getting stronger and better for every single, album and Soundcloud release? Already being mesmerised by the likes of Humus and Soul Valpio, I gladly add on Mr.Tuomo Prättälä to that distinguished list of soul acts originated from Finland. Tuomo has for several years been active within the Finnish soul and jazz landscape, as a member of Quintessence, and has since 2007 released three albums. So now it’s time to explore his fourth full length release, The New Mystique.

I first came across Tuomo last year, when he lended his smooth and soulful vocals to the track XTRM in the collaboration group TIP, which gave hommage to the 80’s funk/soul era and you can clearly hear influences from that period even on his fourth solo album. But first and foremost, this album is a collection of eleven full bodied, intelligent compositions, that together with the grace and warmth of a contemporary, yet respectfully retrospective production, gives it an edge, that so many like-minded albums lack. And Mr. Prättälä is not afraid of mixing things up with a refreshing feel of 80’s pop era, as in the lovely Like stone.

So 2014 got itself a wonderful start with this exquisitely soulful Finn, that has delived an album well beyond its expectations.

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