Shine 2009 Our Nation

Shine 2009 Our Nation
8
Finland might be the least popular music producer of the Scandinavian countries, but there's good reason to believe Shine 2009 can do for pop what Finnish artists like Jimi Tenor, Pan Sonic and Jori Hulkkonen have done for electronic music. Comprised of Sami Suova and Mikko Pykari, the duo released debut album Realism in 2011, which was mostly overshadowed by an unlikely Paula Abdul guest spot on single "So Free." On sophomore album Our Nation, Suova and Pykari have augmented their genre-curious sound, incorporating any and everything, from baggy and Eurodance to house and sensitive indie-pop. Released by Cascine, these songs owe a heavy debt to the Sincerely Yours label roster, as the influences of artists like the Tough Alliance and Air France are everywhere. With those two acts on ice, Our Nation proves that Shine 2009 are formidable successors. They're much more ambitious too, going for broke with the production. They effortlessly sneak drum & bass drops into "No Thanks," flirt with orchestral arrangements and trance on the minimal "Suomen Sydän," sample opera on the American Psycho-themed "Eurozone" and get Balearic on the title track, which takes scornful jabs at the notion of national pride (a loose theme running throughout the album). Our Nation is a clever, exhilarating second album that fills the great void left by TTA and Air France, which for fans of this kind of music is strongly felt. (Cascine)