Review: Tanna – Storm In Paradise
AOR Heaven (August 28th 2020)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Tanna are a band formed in 1985 by Finnish singer Tapani Tikkanen, who are now in their third incarnation. The name of the band comes from his childhood nickname. The first line-up were hugely successful in their native Finland and played over 700 gigs including the ‘Coca Cola Tour’. Since then Tikkanen has written four albums of music for a football club and fronted two other bands, but in 2019 he decided that the time was right for Tanna to return. The new line up is Tikkanen on lead vocals and guitar, fellow guitarist Jukka Ihme, Jaakko Konttila on bass, Ville Hanhisuanto on drums and keyboardist Mika Pohjola. Also featured on ‘Storm in Paradise‘ are saxophonist Jimi Ahlroos and vocalist Inge Soder.
The title track is a great start to the album which has a Bruce Springsteen feel to the vocals over a no nonsense rock tune that makes the song soar and sets the standard by which the rest of the album will be judged. The second track is ‘Silhouettes‘, which is more of a traditional AOR track with a mellower vocal that works very well.
‘Run Like Hell‘ is another Springsteen influenced track that would be very much at home on The River or Born in the USA. If there was a title of a track I never thought I would ever review ‘Like Kim Kardashian‘ would definitely be at the top of that list! This song seems to be about making people sit up and take notice while having very little underneath the surface rather like the subject of the title and is definitely the weakest track on the album.
‘Hispaniola‘ is much better as it channels 70’s rock very well and tells the story of the ill-fated ship from Treasure Island with a suitably stormy vocal. ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough‘ is a song that builds upon the drums of Hanhisuanto and the guitars of Tikkanen and Ihme. When Soder enters the song, her vocals together with Tikkannen’s replies, channel classic Meatloaf to great effect.
‘Mysterious‘ is a Europe style tune that builds nicely and turns into a really good workout for all the members of the band with each one being featured to good effect. ‘On the Backstreets‘ starts with a sax solo by Ahlroos that is really classy and the song itself is a Scorpions style ballad that I really enjoyed.
‘Sharks in the Water‘ is another song that shows the tight playing of the band in support of Tikkanen’s vocals. ‘Lonely Day‘ is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album, a tough nugget of rock that reflects the 80’s heyday of the original line up.
‘Old and Grey‘ reminded me of Tom Petty or Bob Dylan and worked extremely well over the heavy tune, sounding a little like Deep Purple in places. ‘The Last Mile‘ is a return to the heavier style of ‘Storm in Paradise‘ and works as well as the title track did by matching the quality of the vocals with a fantastic tune.
The final track, ‘Nights on the Road‘ is a great finish to the album as the reflection on touring life rings true and has an emotional undercurrent that really works. It is a tribute to Markku Kiminki, Tanna’s former roadie and lighting engineer and one which really reflects the affection Tikkanen had for him.
This album shows why Tikkanen has remained popular for over three decades as his voice is just terrific. The songs themselves are good shop windows for the qualities of the group and as long as they steer clear of vapid reality stars on their next album there is no reason why this late career success won’t continue!