Exposé Online banner

Aquaplan — Old Waves, New Seas
((Not on label) AQCD07 , 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

Old Waves, New Seas Cover artAquaplan are relative newcomers from Finland with one previous album under their belt, 2001’s Paperimeri. Their sound is like an updated version of Vermillion Sands: female lead singer coupled with generally uplifting and lightly symphonic prog with a subtle jazz streak running through the material. The defining character of the band’s sound is the dual guitars of founder Ari Sutinen and Pasi Korhonen – on electrics and acoustics respectively – with the songwriting typically centered on their playing. Singer Maarit Saarenkunnas reminds me of June Tabor at times and Clannad’s Maire Brennan at others. In fact, there are moments when Aquaplan sounds like Clannad circa Sirius or Banba, though they never dip into pop or folk (however that could be a useful future outlet for them). What this album has in spades is elegance, even on the proggier songs like “Infrequency.” The jazzy side is seen most strongly on the track “Escape” that at times has an ECM/Pat Metheney smoothness that’s never slick. Keyboard player Juha Anttila and bassist Ville Veijalainen sound like jazz players given proggy material to work with and this, plus the light guitar sound, may make this album a bit too limp-wristed for some, though for me it succeeds on the strength of the harmonic work seen on songs like “Ordinary Life” where Saarenkunnas’ vocals wrap around the arrangement like a velvet glove. As long as you can stomach a jazzier and lighter style of melodic prog then I’d strongly recommend giving this album a listen.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Aquaplan

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Electropolis - Electropolis – A quartet of bass, percussion, electrosax, and electrumpet, Electropolis produces eleven tracks of interesting jazzy rock on what I believe is their debut. The amplified instruments produce some odd...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues