Album Reviews

Pj Rautiainen – Secret Isle

Released by: MusicbuyMail

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: AOR/Melodic Rock/Pop Rock



Line Up:

Pekka Rautiainen – vocals,backing vocals

Anssi Nykänen – drums

Harri Rantanen – bass

Tuomo Vähä-Pesola – keys

Kari Riihimäki – guitar

Seppo Tyni – guitar

Jouni Saarinen – guitar

Jukka Perko – saxophone

Mongo Aaltonen – percussion

Mikko Karjalainen – trumpet

Kadi Vija – backing vocals


1. Secret Isle

2. Falling For You

3. Everytime When It Rains

4. Hey Brother

5. Show Me The Way

6. Burning

7. This Burden

8. Clarity

9. Road Song

10. I Shout

11. Promise You

The name PJ Rautiainen is probably not a familiar name in the AOR or Melodic Rock but that shouldn’t deterred yourself from checking out his new solo debut effort titled “Secret Isle” from this Finnish native. The back story of PJ can be linked back to 1996 made a record called “ Haaveiden Hotelli “with Emi Finland under the moniker of “Julius” and then later in 2004 Pekka joined in a hard rock band called “House of Mirrors”. They made a record called “ Nightflight to Paradise” with Escape Music with received some positive reviews around the world. So even though the name may not be renown internationally, he is certainly  a talented musician and with the ensemble of tight musicians on the new record the music and production are a welcoming sign.

The eminent influences here are no doubt a mix of classic West Coast AOR, I hear glimpses of  some old school Steely Dan on “Every time When It Rains” with a soulful smooth jazzy chorus spicing this melodic tune. I got a smirk on my face when listening to the saxophone playing loudly on “Hey Brother” it felt like listening to some classic stuff from Hall and Oates seriously. The bluesy laid back style ballad “Show Me The Way” adds a sense of class to the record as Pj’s vocals here sound more in tune and his range is felt more powerful then on other tracks.

The contributions on guitars and saxophone on “Secret Isle” is what pushes the music over the mere mediocrity border, all instruments are played expertly while the sound production is strong and sharp. PJ Rautiainen sounds like a man on a mission here while his vocals won’t blow you over the water, what he does well is adjust his vocal atonement to each track , making it more accessible and easy to listen to as he doesn’t try to overdo it. The ability to write an appealing tune gives even more credibility to PJ as a songwriter which he displays strongly as ever here. Although this might end up being one of “under the radar” releases, make no mistake about it you should check it out and do yourself a favor and pick it up as you will find much here to enjoy. Any fans of melodic rock should check it out.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   7/10

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