The new album by the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Linear John presents popular music in a new light. With “Double Parade”, Markus Holkko aka Linear John seamlessly ties in on his first album. The Pop-Jazz potpourri is mysteriously undefinable; a characterization of all relaxed moody situations one can only imagine. Is this still Pop?
Yes, because the album is absolutely suitable for the masses – or maybe not, because it can’t be put in a specific box. Sometimes it sounds just like John Coltrane, sometimes just like Kraftwerk. While one is still feeling the Latin- vibes à la Antônio Carlos Jobim, the next track surprises with a horn solo in the style of Richard Wagner. But despite this diversity, it is not an arbitrary sequence of tributes: The Finn understands how to create his songs harmoniously and melodically so forcefully that you inevitably start to feel the groove. Whenever the listener threatens to lean back into a state of in- attention, he is reactivated by new, surprising harmonic or rhythmic changes. The clever arrangements, all written by Linear John himself, offer a coherent listening experience and yet are unpredictable and somehow refreshingly different.
“Double Parade” can’t be squeezed into a corset. Clear stylistic classification, proven musical means and established structures are skillfully expanded here, while the music is equally fascinating to experts and laymen. This is precisely why the record, a refreshing road trip through the colorful landscape of existing Jazz and Pop flows, is a welcome contrast to the always equal format music.